"I've had two surgeries per year since 2003, from some ridiculous issues like being allergic to the sutures—I suffer from many allergies—to adding new tissue," says Nichole. "I've had a rough time with this pain pump.
"My first surgery was the cause of this nightmare. The orthopedic surgeon was supposed to give me an MRI before surgery but instead he did an exploratory and ended up repairing some tissue and putting in the shoulder pain pump. I did my regular follow-up with him a few weeks later and told him that I was still in pain. In fact my shoulder was even more uncomfortable and painful after the surgery than before—it was loose in the socket. His answer was simply, 'I'll operate on it again,' so I got a second opinion.
"The second orthopedic surgeon agreed with me that my shoulder was really screwed up and indeed I needed another surgery. Thankfully my insurance covered all this—he was a revision specialist, but he still couldn't figure out why it kept getting loose.
"I had to see other shoulder specialists. They weren't really sure what the problem was; the consensus was that the type of surgery I had the first time made my shoulder keep popping out of joint. It was looser than ever. Meanwhile I was getting cortisone shots regularly to help ease the pain. I recently saw a new doctor in the orthopedic service clinic and he asked me if I ever had a shoulder pain pump.
"Bingo! He told me that the pain pump was likely the root of all my problems.
"I was kind of shocked, to say the least, but at the same time relieved to know there was a reason why I had so many complications. Then he asked what kind of pump I had. I saved everything—my grandmother told me a long time ago to keep all medical information because of my allergies so it was just second nature to me. Regardless, it makes sense to save medical records.
"Anyway, I went home and opened the package with my medical reports and found the information: I was given a Stryker pain pump, and I know there are lawsuits filed against this company. I went online and read about how many people have been affected, and I read some medical journals about the extent of damage this pain pump can cause. Now I am angry.
"I am supposed to have yet another surgery but I am at a loss. The orthopedic surgeons don't know if extra bone or donated tendons should be put into my shoulder but they want me to see a different group of orthopedic surgeons that have more experience with the bone. We haven't talked about loss of cartilage but when they talk about putting in cadaver tissue I assume that is the problem. I know that postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL) can occur from the pain pump. It creeps me out.
READ MORE PAIN PUMP LEGAL NEWS
"I have been given one option. I could get a fusion but I am only 35 so I would like to explore other possibilities, one of which is getting an attorney. All these years I didn't know about the shoulder pain pump and I didn't realize the damage it could cause. I didn't ever think it was a factor."