The otherwise unexplainable loss of cartilage in the shoulder may lead to
lifelong pain and suffering for thousands nationwide
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of individuals across the country use high volume pain pumps to cope with the pain that often follows shoulder surgery. Now a new study suggests that the pumps may deliver too much medicine causing a loss of cartilage that can lead to lifelong pain and suffering.
"All of a sudden we started seeing these patients come in with this mysterious and rare condition," says Dr. Charles Beck, an orthopedic surgeon and senior author of the study. "So, we decided to look back and see what they all had in common and what had changed. That's when we started looking closer at the pain pump and found that 63 percent of the patients who used one after surgery had all developed this horrible complication. Of course we stopped using them right away, but we felt obligated to do everything we could to help spread the word throughout the medical community."
The article, published this week in the October 2007 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM), demonstrates a strong association between the intra-articular use of high volume pain pumps following arthroscopic shoulder surgery and an otherwise unexplainable loss of hyaline cartilage in the shoulder joint. The complication, known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL), is permanent and can lead to extreme pain and lifelong suffering. The authors call on their fellow physicians to stop using pain pumps in the shoulder joint immediately.
Numerous lawsuits are pending against the companies that manufacture, market or distribute the pain pumps, including Stryker, DJO Inc., I-Flow Inc., BREG Inc. and others. Included among the many claims in the lawsuits are the allegations that the manufacturers failed to instruct or warn the U.S. medical community that the safety of using the pain pumps in the shoulder joint space had not been established or that the continuous injections of commonly used anesthetics may cause permanent injury.
"We have already found dozens of people across the country whose lives have been devastated by these pain pumps," says attorney Ted Meadows of the Montgomery, Alabama-based law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles and spokesperson for a group of attorneys taking on new plaintiffs to hold the manufacturers accountable. "These are supposed to be routine outpatient procedures, but the patients often endure several more surgeries and most will eventually need complete shoulder replacement."
Meadows and the other attorneys expect hundreds of individuals across the country will now come forward with their own stories of ongoing pain and suffering they have experienced after using one of these devices. Here are just a few of the many stories that they have discovered so far:
-- "I use to find a great sense of satisfaction in helping others in need
of rehabilitation," says Kate Baker, a 28-year old physical therapist
from Raleigh, N.C., who used a pain pump after surgery to repair an
unstable shoulder. "Now I can no longer do the job I loved because it
requires physical strength and abilities I no longer have."
-- "My dad had dreams of retiring soon," says Travis Quimby, a 26-year
old from Dayton, Ore., who used a pain pump after shoulder surgery to
repair a football injury in high school. "I always imagined I would
someday take over the family poultry farm. Now I can't put in a full
day's work and my dad has had to hire someone else. It breaks my
heart to think I am letting him down."
-- "I use to play softball at a very competitive level," says Jessica
Lopez, an 18-year old student from Chandler, Ariz., who had a pain
pump installed following surgery to repair a torn labrum. "My dad
coached the team and we were very close. Now I am in constant pain
and I can't play anymore. I lost my scholarship, I lost contact with
my friends on the team and my dad and I are not as close anymore. I
miss it all terribly."
-- "I use to love ballroom dancing," says Kathy Forest, a 62-year old
flight attendant from Vancouver, Wash. She used a pain pump after
routine surgery to repair her rotator cuff. "Dancing was such a big
part of my life, but now it's just too painful. My biggest fear,
though, is that I may never be able to work again. I am my family's
sole source of income."
To learn more about the devastating complications caused by use of a pain pump following shoulder surgery or how to file your own claim against the manufacturers, please call toll free (800) 898-2034 or visit http://www.painpump.net.
About Beasley Allen
Headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, Beasley Allen is comprised of over 40 attorneys and 200 support staff. Beasley Allen is a national leader in civil litigation, having settled verdicts and settlements amounting to nearly $15 billion.
Ted G. Meadows
Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles
Firmani + Associates Inc
|SOURCE Beasley Allen|
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved