There are currently more than 150 lawsuits pending against manufacturers of intra-articular shoulder pain pumps, which are used to deliver pain medication to the area of surgery quickly and efficiently, as opposed to post-surgery prescription medication. However, these lawsuits are alleging improper use of pain pumps, which may be leading to an onset of chondrolysis in some patients. At least 12 of the cases will go to trial this year, after a landmark decision in late January paved the way for future cases.
An Oregon woman became the first person to receive a settlement in a lawsuit involving a possible relationship between shoulder pain pumps and chondrolysis. The woman’s $5.5 million decision is a solid statement that manufacturers potentially marketed the pain pumps as an alternative to prescription medication, meaning that hospitals could move patients in and out more efficiently with very little stay time in hospital beds. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously only approved the use of pain pumps in minimizing pain and inflammation in the tissue surrounding the shoulder. The FDA never gave approval to use the pumps directly on the shoulder.
The company named in the aforementioned Oregon suit is the I-Flow Corporation, which has been named in at least 191 cases of chondrolysis. I-Flow was acquired by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in 2009 as one of the leading developers of drug-delivery systems, including the company’s flagship On-Q Pain Relief System, which is an alternative pain relief and healing option, much like the intra-articular shoulder pain pumps. The manufacturer AstraZeneca has also been named in a variety of chondrolysis cases as well.
Recent studies and tests have shown that direct applications of pain medication to the shoulder are detrimental to the cartilage. In fact, the medication has a reverse affect, causing the cartilage to deteriorate. This results in a greater deal of pain, as well as the loss of mobility. Because cartilage cannot repair itself, additional surgery is required to reduce the pain and restore mobility.
If you or a loved one has experienced serious side effects or health complications withan intra-articular shoulder pain pump, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with surgical complications and defective medical equipment. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.