Pain Management - Beaufort Memorial Hospital

Pain Management

The following is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). To read the answer to each question, please click on the question.


What is causing my joint pain?

Joint pain has many causes. One common source is arthritis, which can damage the joint, bone ends, or cartilage. Or, fluid filled sacs (bursae) that cushion joints become inflamed or tendons become irritated, injured or degraded. Sometimes pain is even referred to a joint from another area of the body. An orthopaedic specialist can help you get to the bottom of joint pain.
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How do I know where my pain is coming from?

The location of pain is helpful in reaching an accurate diagnosis, but it isn’t always clear. Knee pain can really be a sign of an ongoing hip issue or even vascular disease. Don’t assume the location of pain; see an orthopaedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis.
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My pain seems to come and go — what does that mean?

Pain isn’t always sharp or dramatic; discomfort sometimes comes and goes. The cause of fleeting pain may be overdoing it in the gym or garden one afternoon. Or, it can indicate a very common issue that affects most Americans by the time they reach the age of 60: arthritis. An orthopaedic specialist can pinpoint any problems and treat them, if necessary.
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If I have arthritis will I have severe pain, too?

Arthritis can be a scary diagnosis. There are 120 different types of the progressive disease and many forms do cause stiffness and varying levels of pain. In caring for chronic arthritis, work closely with your physician to control pain and live the most comfortable — and active — life possible.
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Does having pain always mean having surgery?

An orthopaedic surgeon is the first to tell you that treatment for joint pain rarely starts with a recommendation for surgery. Your physician will carefully evaluate your pain and situation and then pursue healing through nonsurgical treatment options. Surgery only enters as a treatment when conservative measures fail to resolve pain.
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How is arthritis pain treated without having surgery?

Arthritis pain can be managed in many ways. Your doctor may encourage you to maintain a healthy weight to ease the pressure placed on your joints. Rehabilitation and exercise can help you keep your joints moving smoothly and limit painful stiffness. Injectable medication can offer targeted and effective relief. In cases that do call for surgery, some patients don’t require a total joint replacement, but rather a minimally invasive partial replacement of the joint.
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How much pain should I be in before considering joint replacement surgery?

Many people find joint replacement life changing, but the simple fact is — it’s surgery. Sometimes conservative treatment can be enough to maintain joint health. Other times, pain gets worse and changes how you live. Ask yourself questions about your physical ability to help guide your decision: Does pain limit your ability to walk or get around? Has the pain lasted more than six months? Have nonsurgical treatments failed to relieve your pain? Don’t forget to factor in your quality of life, too. Ask yourself: Is pain affecting your daily life? Keeping you from things you enjoy? Does it affect your mood? Speak to your orthopaedic specialist about the variety of treatments available to relieve joint pain.
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Will joint replacement surgery cure my pain?

Joint replacement surgery can correct physical problems and conditions that cause pain. The typical result of joint replacement surgery is a successful one. Generally, patients experience less pain and improved mobility, and can resume activities that joint pain prevented. Even better, long term studies show that the majority of artificial joints and intact and functioning 20 years after surgery.
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