Using a pain management pump following minor joint surgery has turned into a nightmare for many people across the country. After seemingly routine procedures, many people start to develop cartilage damage as a result of these pain pumps. This condition is called PAGCL or Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis. Evidence is mounting that the manufacturers of these pumps aggressively promoted the use for shoulder as well as knee and ankle surgeries, and litigation is pending. There has been a lot of research done regarding chrondrolysis.
One interesting study was titled: Bilateral Shoulder Chondrolysis Following Arthroscopy
A Report of Two Cases
Patrick E. Greis, MD, Alexander LeGrand, MD1 and Robert T. Burks, MD
University Orthopaedic Center, University of Utah, 590 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.
Investigation performed at University Orthopaedic Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Here is an exerpt:
?Shoulder arthroscopy has become a common means of treating shoulder instability. Recent reports have documented the rare but devastating complication of chondrolysis following arthroscopic shoulder procedures. Although the cause of chondrolysis following these procedures remains unclear, an association with a number of variables has been suggested.
We present the cases of two individuals, each of whom presented to our institution for the evaluation and treatment of severe shoulder pain after having undergone bilateral arthroscopic shoulder procedures at separate operative times at another institution. Each patient subsequently developed severe chondrolysis of both shoulders. The demographic information, surgical records, and clinical course of the patients were reviewed in an attempt to identify factors associated with this problem. Our patients and the original treating physician were informed that data concerning the cases would be submitted for publication, and they consented.?
If you found this interesting, please read the full report.
Another interesting study is titled
Subacromial pain pump use with arthroscopic shoulder surgery: A short-term prospective study of complications in 583 patients
Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Volume 17, Issue 6, Pages 860-862
B. Busfield, G. Lee, M. Carrillo, R. Ortega, F. Kharrazi
Here is an excerpt:
Pain pumps containing local anesthetics, with or without opioids, can be used for perioperative analgesia after arthroscopic shoulder surgery to reduce pain. Although several smaller studies have demonstrated the analgesic properties, no large series to date has reported the short-term complication rate of subacromial pain pumps. We prospectively studied (2005 to 2007) 583 patients who underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery at a single outpatient surgery center and had intraoperative placement of a pain pump catheter into the subacromial space. Patients had at least 1 month of follow-up. No patient received perioperative brachial plexus regional anesthesia. There were no cases of infection, internal catheter breakage, pump failure, or hospital admission for pain control. The only complication was external catheter breakage that occurred when a patient attempted to remove the pump without removing the tape fastening the catheter at the skin. Subacromial pain pumps used for arthroscopic shoulder procedures are safe in the short-term.?
A number of pain pump lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts across the country. If you have been harmed by one of these pumps, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights. This article should not be construed as medical or legal advice.