Investigation and multiple individual actions against Stryker, DJO Inc., I-Flow Inc., BREG Inc. as manufacturers, marketers and distributors of a variety of shoulder pain pump devices.
A shoulder pain pump is a medical device implanted into the shoulder during arthroscopic surgery to alleviate post-operative shoulder joint pain. Shoulder pain pumps work by infusing pain medication directly into the shoulder through a catheter continuously until post-operative pain subsides. The use of shoulder pain pumps has been linked to post-arthroscopic glenohumeral chrondrolysis (PAGCL), a painful and permanent condition that results in the breakdown and deterioration of the cartilage in the shoulder.
The link between shoulder pain pumps and PAGCL was first established in a study published in the October 2007 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine. According to the study, as much as 63 percent of patients who use shoulder pain pumps are at risk of developing PAGCL. Due to the high risk of PAGCL, the study's authors recommend that patients avoid using shoulder pain pumps, especially those that use bupivacaine with epinephrine, until their effects are further studied. With PAGCL, hyaline cartilage in the shoulder joint is destroyed, leaving an individual with a limited range of motion and constant pain. Unfortunately, PAGCL treatments are merely palliative, meaning they merely treat PAGCL symptoms and do not cure the condition. Typically, pain medication and further shoulder surgery are the only treatment options for PAGCL.
At least 30 lawsuits are now pending in the U.S. against the companies that manufacture, market or distribute post-operative shoulder pain pumps, including Stryker, DJO Inc., I-Flow Inc., BREG Inc., and others. The shoulder pain pump lawsuits include many different claims. For example, the lawsuits allege that the manufacturers of shoulder pain pumps failed to instruct or warn the U.S. medical community that the safety of using the pain pumps in the shoulder joint had not been established. Additionally, the lawsuits claim that continuous injections of commonly used anesthetics (pain drugs) may cause permanent injury.
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Name (Stock Symbol)
Stryker Corporation (SYK)
Stryker Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures medical devices.
DJO Incorporated is a global provider of orthopedic devices.
I-Flow Inc. (IFLO)
I-Flow Inc. manufactures medical devices including several brands of pain pumps.
Breg Inc. is a medical device company with its primary focus on reconstructive, orthopedic and postoperative areas. Breg Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Orthofix International (NASDAQ: OFIX)
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