Study Discourages Post-Op Pain Pumps For Knee Surgeries

As product liability litigation over shoulder pain pumps heats up, the results of a new study has been released concerning the use of pain pumps after knee surgery. The results, published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, led the authors to discourage pain pump use in order to avoid the weakening of the knee's cartilage.

Details of the study

The study, published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, concluded that there were other ways to adequately manage post-operative knee surgery without subjecting patients to the injuries which have been associated with the use of pain pumps. The authors of the study are from Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington, England and noted that recent reports have also implicated that the intra-articular use of bupivacaine, which is widely used as a local anesthetic, has also been implicated in post -operative chondrolysis in the human glenohumeral and ankle joints. The latest study is just one of many which tout the dangers of pain pumps.

Studies connecting pain pumps & PAGCL

Several other studies have been conducted over the past three years which suggest that there is a very strong association between pain pumps and PAGCL, or Postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis, a very painful condition that occurs in the shoulder when the cartilage between the humeral head and the glenoid (the ball and socket of your shoulder) has broken down to the point where bone meets bone. Here are three of the major studies that have been released over the past three years:

  • July, 2008: Journal of American Physicians. Authors of this study recommended that users should be aware of using reactive anesthetics 48 hours after surgery. The study indicated that the cartilage of the shoulder area is especially more susceptible to damage from anesthetics administered by pain pumps over a 48 hour period than other areas containing cartilage.
  • October, 2007: American Journal of Sports Medicine. In this study, Dr. Charles Beck, an orthopedic surgeon and senior author of the study, stated that there is a, “…strong association between the intra-articular (inside the joint space) use of high volume pain pumps following arthroscopic shoulder surgery and an otherwise unexplainable loss of hyaline cartilage in the shoulder joint.”
  • March, 2006: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Several shoulder surgery patients who developed PAGCL were studied and the one factor they had in common was that they all used a pain pump after their surgery.

Pain pump manufacturers named in the product liability litigation include Stryker, I-Flow, Donjoy, Bregg and others. If you've been injured due to a shoulder pain pump, contact an experienced shoulder pain pump attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options.