A well-respected orthopedic surgeon has issued a warning that a small device to reduce pain can cause permanent cartilage damage in the shoulder.  These devices have been used in thousands of patients across the country and hundreds of lawsuits against manufacturers have now been filed.  The insertion of pain pumps into the joint and injection of pain medication have been responsible for burning the cartilage.  With little or no cartilage in the shoulder, patients develop a condition known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL).  Symptoms of PAGCL usually manifest two to twelve months after the surgery and can include a decreased range of motion and constant stiffness.   Additional surgery and sometimes a complete shoulder replacement is necessary.  While the pumps are FDA-approved for placement in the tissue, placement directly in the shoulder joint was declared unsafe.  Some sources claim that anesthetic companies are partially responsible as well, but far fewer lawsuits have been filed against them. 


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