Pain Pump PAGCL Lawyers
Postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis, also known as PAGCL, is not in everyone’s vocabulary. But it’s a familiar term to anyone who suffers from this painful condition that occurs when cartilage, a connective tissue that helps joints move, begins to deteriorate around the shoulder. PAGCL often results in severe pain and permanent shoulder limitations.
Symptoms of PAGCL may include:
- Shoulder pain
- Shoulder stiffness
- Limited range of shoulder motion
- Clicking or popping in the shoulder joint
- Shoulder weakness
There appears to be a causal link between PAGCL and the use of an intra-articular pain pump catheter, a medical device inserted in the shoulder joint to deliver pain medication for several days following a shoulder operation.
That link was established in a study led by Dr. Charles Beck, an orthopedic surgeon inUtah, who noted a sudden appearance of cases of postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis.
“The cause of this process is unknown, but the consequences are devastating,” Dr. Beck wrote in the October 2007 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine. “This condition currently has no effective treatment.”
He and his colleagues set out to determine whether the increase in PAGCL might be associated with a specific factor such as implanted surgical devices or a surgical technique.
They examined 177 patients who underwent shoulder surgery. Among those patients,19 used intra-articular pain pump catheters filled with bupivacaine and epinephrine – and 12 of those 19 patients developed PAGCL. In all, 63 percent of patients who used the intra-articular pain pump catheters developed PAGCL.
“The incidence of chondrolysis in this series is startlingly high,” Dr. Beck and his colleagues wrote.
All patients had previously made significant gains in motion after surgery and appeared to be recovering normally, after a period of immobilization lasting 4 weeks. However, affectedpatients then reported new onset of pain, stiffness, increased pain with motion, and crepitus within the first year after surgery.
The study authors recommended that the use of intra-articular pain pump catheters, in combination with bupivacaine or epinephrine, be avoided in all joints with an intact cartilage surface until further study was completed.
Currently, there is no effective treatment for PAGCL. Doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, but in many cases, patients must undergo a surgical procedure known as arthoplasty, where the damaged shoulder joint is replaced with metal and plastic pieces.
Patients who need shoulder surgery should speak to their doctors about pain pumps and be especially alert to any procedure that uses pain pumps in combination with bupivacaine with epinephrine.
Patients who underwent shoulder surgery where a pain pump was used and who may now be experiencing symptoms of PAGCL should contact their treating physician or seek other medical attention.
Medical malpractice claims like the one at issue for alleged injuries from a pain pump are among the most difficult areas of litigation, since the negligent action must be documented and proven within specific guidelines. Only a skilled medical malpractice attorney has the experience and resources to thoroughly investigate and validate your case.
Contact a Pain Pump / PAGCL Lawyer
If you would like to speak with an attorney experienced with the link between pain pumps and postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis, or PAGCL, and have your situation reviewed at no charge, and with no obligation, please complete the form below. Your information will be transmitted securely and privately to an experienced lawyer for an initial claim evaluation.