On January 22, an Oregon jury awarded a chondrolysis patient nearly $5.5 million in compensation. According to New York Times, more than 150 such lawsuits are currently making their way through the court system.
Chondrolysis is a rare ailment in which joint cartilage dies, resulting in bone grinding on bone. Many times this surgery affects athletes, ending their athletic careers and leaving them with a lifetime of pain and disability.
Litigation against pain pump manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and physicians using the pumps has exploded recently as more and more patients are discovering injuries attributable to the use of pain pumps during surgery. The pumps deliver controlled doses of pain medication directly to the surgical site and often eliminate the need for post-surgical pain medication.
Findings suggest using these pain pumps in surgery causes shoulder joint cartilage to break down, resulting in pain and loss of mobility.
In November, the FDA issued a bulletin stating that it had never approved the use of shoulder pain pumps directly with joints. Doctors counter this, arguing that labels on pain pumps were vague and labels did not specifically warn against the use of pain pumps in the joints.
While doctors, manufacturers, and the FDA argue over blame, more and more patients are being diagnosed with chondrolysis just a few months after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Here in New Mexico, it is unknown how many citizens have had this surgery and have suffered injuries as the result of the use of shoulder pain pumps.
As dedicated personal injury attorneys, if you or someone you love believes your shoulder has been damaged as the result of arthroscopic surgery utilizing a shoulder pain pump, we urge you to seek medical attention immediately.