Recently, an Oregon jury awarded $5.5 million to a chondrolysis patient. There are more than 150 lawsuits around the country regarding chondrolysis and shoulder pain pumps, with at least 12 of them expected to go to trial this year. Chondrolysis is a condition where the cartilage breaks down and deteriorates. Several medical studies have shown a link between chondrolysis and the use of shoulder pain pumps. Pain pumps are sometimes used after shoulder surgery to deliver medication directly to the shoulder joint.
In the 1990’s orthopedic surgeons increasingly began using shoulder pain pumps after manufacturers claimed that the pumps would allow surgical patients to leave the hospital more quickly and with a more efficient delivery of pain medicine directly to the surgical site, instead of bottles of oral medication. The pain pump was FDA approved for use in the surrounding muscle tissue, but not for use in the actual shoulder joint. However, it is alleged that manufacturers actively promoted the use of pain pumps directly into the shoulder joint. While doctors are allowed to use drugs and devices for unapproved uses, manufacturers are prohibited from marketing their products for any use other than an FDA-approved use.
Some doctors say that the prolonged direct delivery of medication to the shoulder joint caused toxic effects of cartilage breaking down. Since cartilage does not regenerate, chondrolysis can lead to additional surgery or even shoulder replacement.
If you have developed chondrolysis after using a shoulder pain pump, contact Sheller P.C Sheller is leading pharmaceutical litigation firm, with a long history of successfully representing people who have been injured by medications and medical devices. Contact Sheller to discuss your potential legal claims.