Pain Pump Side Effects

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Unfortunately, many of the patients using shoulder pain pumps have reported ongoing pain, stiffness, clicking noises, and a breakdown of the cushioning cartilage in the shoulder joint.

What’s the problem?

A pain pump is implanted into the shoulder of a patient during arthroscopic surgery. By using the pump, the patient is able to inject a continuous stream of medication into the surgical site to help reduce pain. Pain pumps have been used for many years and have typically had a successful track record. However, in 2007 the medical community began to notice an increase in complaints from patients. People who were having relatively minor shoulder surgeries were beginning to develop serious problems with cartilage loss and deterioration.

Side Effects of Pain Pumps

Unfortunately, some patients experience pain pump side effects so damaging, further surgery or joint replacement is required. Patients have complained of such side effects following the use of an infusion pain pump to continuously deliver the anesthetics into the shoulder joint after arthroscopic surgery. Common side effects include:

  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Chondrolysis

Chondrolysis & Pain Pumps

In some cases, the pain reaches a severe level and the patient is unable to use the affected shoulder and arm, a condition which is known as post-arthroscopy glenohumeral chondrolysis (“chondrolysis”). Studies have shown this condition may be caused by an improper placement or use of pain pumps in the shoulder joint space. Some of the signs that you are experiencing chondrolysis are stiffness, weakness, lack of range, and severe pain in the shoulder area. You may also be experiencing a clicking of the shoulder.

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