Shoulder Pain Pumps Linked To PAGCL
Modern medicine is incredible and it’s becoming more and more adept at treating a variety of shoulder, knee and hip injuries through arthroscopic surgery. Shoulder arthroscopy has become a routine outpatient surgery and allows individuals to recover in a matter of a few short weeks what used to take months of recovery and involved intensive rehabilitation.
However, there is still the intense pain that has to be dealt with and that involves the application of medication to control the pain. Pain control can be a limiting factor for patient discharge after surgery, and several methods are being used to provide the continuous flow of pain medication to the joint after surgery.
Pain Pumps-A Terrible Price For Pain Relief
Regional anesthetic blocks and shoulder pain pumps are common methods to provide this short term pain control. Pain pumps are generally used either in the subacromial space or within the glenohumeral joint. This pain relief often comes at a terrible price.
A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that these shoulder pain pumps were associated with the development of Postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis, commonly known as PAGCL, it’s a rare condition and it involves the progressive loss of cartilage in the shoulder joint.
PAGCL is a debilitating disease that is extremely painful and it has been linked to the use of intra-articular shoulder pain pumps following arthroscopic surgery. In order for the shoulder joint to move fully, without pain and in every direction, it needs cartilage.
PAGCL Causes Permanent Loss Of Cartilage
PAGCL causes the permanent deterioration of cartilage which causes excruciating pain with even the slightest movement of the joint. Medical studies have shown a clear correlation between the development of PAGCL and the use of intra-articular pain pumps that deliver medication directly into the joint through a catheter after surgery.
There is one treatment for PAGCL and that is more surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is usually not an option for the treatment, and the patient must undergo the more painful open surgery to treat the disease.
Despite the added surgery many patients never regain full motion of the shoulder joint. The FDA has not approved either local anesthetics or pain pumps for “continuous infusion” of medication directly into the shoulder joint.
The FDA has instructed health care professionals to follow closely the instructions for use of the shoulder pain pumps, and to not use the shoulder pain pumps to continuously infuse medication directly in the joint after surgery.
Patients contemplating shoulder surgery should be aware of the painful complications associated with the use of shoulder pain pumps. They should speak with their physician and determine a more suitable method for pain modification.
Contact Personal Injury Lawyer
Anyone experiencing the symptoms associated with PAGCL, pain, clicking, popping, or grinding in the joint following the implantation of a shoulder pain pump should seek immediate medical attention. If you or a loved one have suffered the effects of PAGCL due to the use of a shoulder pain pump, please contact a qualified personal injury lawyer today at The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, we can help you.