Pain Pump for Joint Injury Lawyers
Pain pumps are medical devices designed to infuse a local anesthetic medication such as bupivacaine, lidocaine or Marcaine or ropivacaine directly into the surgical site of patients in order to provide post-operative pain relief. Pain pumps were regularly used by orthopedic surgeons following arthroscopic shoulder surgeries. However, the continuous injection of anesthetics into patients’ shoulder joints caused patients to develop postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL), a painful and debilitating medical condition which causes the cartilage to deteriorate, resulting in excruciating pain, a loss of mobility and decreased range of motion and use of the shoulder. As a result of the severe pain and limited movement, patients with chondrolysis usually have to undergo additional surgery, including a partial or total shoulder replacement. Symptoms of PAGCL may include: grinding or popping in the shoulder, increased stiffness, moderate to severe pain, decreased range of motion and loss of joint strength.
The injuries sustained by patients in the pain pump litigation were the result of pain pump manufacturers not using the pain pumps in the same manner as the predicate pain pumps had been used. Therefore, the preexisting establishment of safety did not exist. The pain pumps had previously been approved by the FDA for injecting anesthetics directly into the patients’ joints’ muscle, skin or nerve tissue. But, in early 2000, pain pump manufacturers began marketing the pain pumps to orthopedic surgeons for continuous intra-articular (in the joint) uses, despite the fact that intra-articular placement of the pain pump catheters were not approved by the FDA, and in fact, had been repeatedly rejected by the FDA since the 1990s due to the lack of safety studies.
In 2004, multiple scholarly studies were published demonstrating the toxic effects of pain pump anesthetics on shoulder cartilage. In 2006, two doctors presented data at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons linking chondrolysis to the intra-articular placement of the pain pump catheter. Despite this information and knowledge, the pain pump manufacturers continued to market their devices to surgeons across the country for intra-articular placement while misrepresenting the safety and efficacy of the pain pumps and without ever conducting a single study to determine the safety and efficacy of the pumps.
Rather than make that safety showing through the appropriate regulatory channels, the pain pump manufacturers chose to place thousands of patients’ safety at risk by foregoing the FDA’s approval process and placing an untested and dangerous product on the market. The pain pump manufacturers failed to adequately warn the healthcare profession and public of the serious risks associated with their products and placed thousands of patients at serious risk of injury.
We currently represent more than 500 patients across the country in their claims against the pain pump manufacturers, including, Stryker Corporation, DJO, Inc., I-Flow Corporation and Breg, Inc. for the severe, painful and irreversible injuries caused by their defective pain pumps. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of using a pain pump, contact Cohen & Malad, LLP to speak with one of our experienced products liability/personal injury attorneys to discuss your legal options and help you seek the compensation you deserve.