Pain pumps leading to chondrolysis: information and resources
In 2009, the FDA released a report stating that prolonged administration of anesthetics on joints can cause chondrolysis. Unfortunately, this news came too late for many who were given pain pumps (machines that administer local anesthesia for prolonged periods of time) on their joints after surgery. The health care providers who gave patients pain pumps for their joints were doing so without the approval of the FDA. The FDA has never approved the use of pain pumps on joints.
Chondrolysis is a rare condition where the cartilage in a joint dies leaving nothing to prevent the two bones from grinding against each other. Over 150 lawsuits were filed against pain pump manufacturers and those who prescribed them because of the connection pain pumps have to this condition. Chondrolysis is responsible for crippling some people and ending the athletic career of others. Many of those afflicted experience a lifetime of pain. In 2010, a patient who developed chondrolysis from a pain pump filed a lawsuit and received $5.5 million in compensation (New York Times).
As part of weitzlux.com’s on-going commitment to providing you with the latest news on pain pumps and their connection to chondrolysis, we have put together these helpful resources.
What are pain pumps?
In the late 1990’s, pain pumps were given to the medical community as a safe alternative to extended hospital recovery time and prescription drugs. A catheter is placed on the area recently operated on through an incision in the flesh. The catheter is connected to an electronic pump that administers a slow, but continuous dose of pain medicine over a long period of time. In many cases, the pain pump is worn for days. This was intended for a patient to have continuous pain relief after surgery.
Why do pain pumps cause damage?
When pain medication is administered to joints for a very short period of time, or in increments, there is no known damage. When, however, joints receive continuous doses of pain medication over a period of days, the cartilage begins to die. This is what pain pumps do – they sometimes are used to administer pain medication over a period of days, which causes the condition chondrolysis.
What can be done?
People are continuously coming forward about developing chondrolysis from pain pumps, and filing lawsuits against those responsible. A lawsuit can compensate you for your financial losses such as:
- Income lost due to time in recovery
- Future income lost due to forced retirement
- Scholarships lost due to inability to perform the athletic activity for which the scholarship was awarded.
- The cost of prescription medication related to the incident
- The cost of hired medical aids related to the incident
- Pain and suffering
Weitz & Luxenberg can assist you in filing for a lawsuit. Our experienced attorneys are skilled at getting compensation for those seriously injured by defective or harmful medical devices. Contact Weitz & Luxenberg today for a free legal consultation.
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