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Patient's Surgeon Says Shoulder Pain Pump Can Cause Destroyed Cartilage

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Mulino, ORWhen Melinda complained to her surgeon of pain in her shoulder—exactly where she had a shoulder pain pump inserted after arthroscopic surgery—he ordered an MRI. Regardless of the results, Melinda is going ahead with a shoulder pain pump lawsuit.
"What else can explain this alien pain?"
she says.


Melinda was born with longer ligaments than normal and that caused her shoulder to dislocate so many times that it actually tore the ligament from the bone. She had arthroscopic surgery back in 2004, and it worked, up until about one year ago.

"After my surgery, I woke up with the pain pump in my shoulder, I didn't know what it was and I certainly didn't get an option," says Melinda. "Although the surgery worked—all they had to do was put me back together—I had this foreign device attached to me."

Melinda says the pain is sporadic; It is "off and on" and she never knows when it's coming. Now she is worried, not knowing if it is getting worse. She has cause for concern because the shoulder pain pump is associated with postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL), which could be much worse than having her shoulder ligaments longer than "normal." PAGCL can leave a shoulder pain pump victim with destroyed cartilage.

"I went straight back to the source—my surgeon—and told him about this agonizing pain," says Melinda. "He didn't deny that the shoulder pain pump could be to blame. He also said that, while it didn't happen often, there are known cases of patients suffering with destroyed cartilage after getting the pain pump. So he sent me for an MRI and I will be getting the results at the end of this month. Interestingly, when I had the MRI, they injected the dye into the exact same spot where it is hurting, right into the cartilage.

"I have a feeling that my surgeon will say I have arthritis in my shoulder, but this pain doesn't feel anything like that because I already suffer from arthritis in other areas—I know what arthritis feels like. This is a very strange feeling that I have never had before; I can't describe it because it is unlike any pain, like an alien inside my shoulder."

Many people have moments of clarity and can resolve problems just before they fall asleep, and that is how Melinda connected the dots with her pain and the shoulder pain pump. "I woke up in the middle of the night, went online and googled 'shoulder pain pump,' and wow, I had no idea there were so many sufferers and lawsuits," she says. "I also researched all the pain pump companies; it turns out that they already know people are having problems. I also read that these manufacturers knew it wasn't safe, but the FDA approved it anyway. The makers have sold so many of these pain pumps, and must have turned quite a profit—enough to set aside for lawsuits.

"To tell the truth, I got really scared after reading about PAGCL. Would my entire shoulder have to get redone? I'm a model and having to face another scar is scary in itself. Even if it doesn't get worse, I shouldn't have to live with this pain, it isn't fair. Dealing with this pain all these years later isn't right either, and that is why I intend to go ahead with a shoulder pain pump lawsuit."

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