In July 2007, the American Journal of Sports Medicine published a study which identified intra-articular pain pumps as the likely cause of a condition known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL). PAGCL is the breakdown of cartilage in the shoulder joint (gleno-humeral joint) and can cause severe pain and stiffness in the affected shoulder, reduce its range of motion and strength and result in the need for constant pain management. Patients with PAGCL oftentimes must undergo repeated surgical procedures and may ultimately require shoulder joint replacement surgery. Generally, physical therapy will be necessary after the surgery.
In addition, in 2006 a paper was presented at the meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons that showed of 152 patients who underwent arthroscopic surgery, 12 developed PAGCL. All 12 patients who developed PAGCL after the surgery also had a pain pump during their surgeries - the only factor that all patients had in common.
Symptoms of PAGCL include shoulder pain while at rest or in motion, clicking/popping or grinding, weakness/stiffness in the shoulder and a decreased range of motion.
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