One of the fastest growing areas of litigation in Ohio are the pain pump cases. Young high school and college athletes who had shoulder surgery in 2005 and 2006 and before are finding out that the cartilage in their surgical shoulder is now destroyed due to the use of a pain pump after surgery.
The manufacturers of pain pumps rushed their product into the hands of orthopaedic surgeons for use in pain control after surgery. They told doctors that they would get fewer post surgery phone calls about pain. What they neglected to tell the doctors was that by inserting a pain pump directly into the joint space and infusing the cartilage with pain medicine for up to four days, they were destroying the cartilage. Cartilage is the smooth covering over the bones in a joint that makes movement of the joint smooth and easy. By destroying the cartilage, the movement of the joint becomes painful. As more and more cartilage is destroyed, movement of the upper arm becomes difficult. At some pint, these victims will probably require shoulder replacement surgery. This is a difficult surgery with mixed results. Shoulder joint replacement technology is not as far along as knee and hip replacement.
Ohio law does provide for compensation for victims of greedy medical device manufacturers. These pain pumps should never have been promoted for intra-articular use (directly in the joint space) without adequate testing. Nearly every study done recently confirms that continuous infusion of marcaine and lidocaine on the surface of the cartilage causes cell death. This results in cartilage destruction and permanent injury. There are more and more of these cases moving through Ohio courts. The dual purpose of Ohio tort law is to compensate the victims of faulty products and hold the wrongdoer accountable.
Ohio has a fairly short statute of limitations so, if you know of someone with this type of injury, be sure to contact an attorney to review the specific facts of the case to determine if the injury was caused by the pain pump.