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Pain Pumps and PAGCL

The FDA warns pain pumps may be associated with the risk of a rare, but painful condition called Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL), which leads to the permanent deterioration of cartilage, often requiring additional surgeries and even complete replacement of the joint.

Anesthetic infusion devices, more widely known as pain pumps, are commonly used following surgical procedures in order to reduce pain. They can be used from anywhere between a few hours to a few days after surgery. Pain pumps consist of a pump and a catheter, which is placed in the joint of the surgical site. The pump automatically releases medication, which is delivered to the joint space by the catheter. Due to their close proximity to the actual injury, pain pumps are considered advantageous because they require smaller doses of pain medications, compared to oral drugs.

Due to the severity of these permanent side effects, pain pump patients may want to contact a pain pump lawyer at Alexander Shunnarah for a free case evaluation to discuss the potential for a pain pump lawsuit.

Patients suffering Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain (even while sleeping or motionless)
  • Grinding
  • Stiffness
  • Clicking
  • Popping
  • Weakness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis

Postarthoroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis, also referred to as PAGCL or chondrolysis, is the deterioration of cartilage material. The word “chrondrolysis” describes cells in cartilage that once dead, cannot regenerate. As the cartilage wears away, it leaves nothing behind in the joint besides bone. As a result, it causes bone to rub against bone, which is extremely painful.

Due to the nature of the symptoms, PAGC is a severe and life-threatening condition.

Treatment of PAGCL is difficult. While anti-inflammatories and other medications may provide limited relief, ultimately patients may need to undergo complete joint replacement surgery.

Cause of Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis:

The exact cause of Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis is unknown. It cannot be traced back to one specific aspect of pain pumps, although there is a correlation between the two.

The following medications have been included in pain pumps:

  • Bupivacaine
  • Chlorprocaine
  • Lidocaine
  • Mepivacaine
  • Procaine
  • Ropivacaine

Pain Pump Manufacturers:

Since the FDA released information concerning pain pumps, many patients have filed lawsuits against pain pump makers, including the following list of pain pump manufacturers:

  • Stryker
  • DJO Inc.
  • I-Flow Inc.
  • BREG Inc.

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