How pain pumps damage the joints and what we can do to help
Marcus Suhn used to be a defensive end for South Dakota State University. His career ended after a simple shoulder surgery that should have had him back on the field in nine months. The problem was that he was given a shoulder pain pump after his surgery, which he wore, like he was directed to, for more than 72 hours. When Marcus got showed up to practice in the following fall semester, he described that the time in which he could play decreased dramatically.
“I could make it through 15, 20 minutes of practice, and by that time, my arm was just dead…I kept saying, ‘Something’s not right there.’ ”
Marcus went back to his doctor who found that his shoulder cartilage had deteriorated. This ended Marcus’s football playing career entirely, and forced him to get his shoulder joint completely replaced. Doctors are still unsure what kind of long-term effects Marcus should expect to face (NY Times).
Weitz & Luxenberg can help those injured by pain pumps by aiding them in the process of filing a lawsuit. Contact Weitz & Luxenberg today for a free legal consultation. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Chondrolysis: the debilitating condition caused by pain pumps
Chondrolysis is a condition where the cartilage of a joint is destroyed rapidly causing extreme pain and limiting range of motion. Sufferers are unable to perform basic daily activities like picking up a cup or tying their shoelaces (depending on the joint affected).
In 2008, the FDA issued a warning against using pain pumps because of their connection to chondrolysis (shoulder chondrolysis in particular). In the FDA’s report, it states that “almost all of the reported cases of chondrolysis [brought on by pain pumps] 97% occurred following shoulder surgeries. Joint pain, stiffness, and loss of motion were reported as early as the second month after receiving the infusion. In more than half of these reports, the patients required additional surgery, including arthroscopy or arthroplasty (joint replacement).” FDA
Like in Marcus’s case, chondrolysis can be career ending. Weitz & Luxenberg understands this, and we can help you seek out compensation for expenses such as:
- Loss of income due to hospitalization
- Loss of future income due to forced retirement
- Pain and suffering
- Any out-of-pocket costs related to the incident
The problem with pain pumps
From their conception to today, there have been problems with pain pumps. Pain pump usage started in the late 1990s despite the fact that the FDA never granted approval of them. They were built to effectively deliver pain relief to anyone recovering from surgery or suffering from a medical condition that caused chronic pain.
The device works by inserting one end of a catheter directly into the area of the body in need of pain medication. The other end of the catheter is hooked up to an electronic pump that delivers continuous doses of medication throughout a given period of recovery time. When used on any other part of the body except joints, or when used on joints for under 72 hours, there not any apparent side-effects. However, when used for jointpain for extended periods of time, chondronlysis can occur. Manufacturers like I-Flow (owned by Kimberly-Clark) and drug companies like AstraZeneca (which manufactured the anesthetic used in the pumps) kept pain pumps on the market even after the FDA issued the warning . In 2010, a jury in Oregon awarded $5.5 million to a patient who developed chondrolysis after being prescribed a pain pump (NY Times).
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
Weitz & Luxenberg’s attorneys are confident they can provide you with the support you need to receive the compensation you deserve. Simply fill out the form on this page for a free legal consultation. It is easy, confidential, and in no way obligates you to our law firm. Let Weitz & Luxenberg hear your case – we are here to help.
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