Joint Pain
Midtown Sports Medicine
Eric Furie, MD, FAAOS Eric Furie, MD, FAAOS

Pinpointing Joint Pain

What are some common causes of 
joint pain?
Joint pain can be caused by a trauma, overuse or from arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The most common arthritis is osteoarthritis. As one gets older, arthritis is the most likely cause of joint pain.

Is there a difference between joint pain and arthritis, or are the two interchangeable?
Joint pain is a symptom of arthritis. Stiffness and swelling at the end of the day are also symptoms of arthritis.

At what age does joint pain 
typically occur?
Joint pain can occur at any age. If it is not related to a traumatic event and lasts for more than 10 days, it is best to visit your orthopaedist for an evaluation.

How do you diagnose arthritis?
Arthritis is a diagnosis made by evaluating the patient’s complaints, examining the joint and then taking x-rays. Osteophytes (spurs), a decreased joint space, cysts and sclerosis (thickening) of the bone are all radiologic signs of osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthropathies can be diagnosed based on blood work. Crystalline arthropathies such as gout sometimes require placing a needle in the joint to remove fluid (aspiration) and then evaluate that fluid under a microscope.

What are the best non-surgical treatments for joint pain?
Treatment of joint pain varies depending upon the etiology. Frequently, a short course of rest, icing and anti-inflammatory medication is all that is necessary to resolve the episode.

Can diet and exercise affect this? 
No specific diet has been shown to affect joint pain, but there is some support for changing one’s diet in order to see if there is an effect. Exercise is usually aimed at maintaining or improving range of motion of the affected joint. Over-exercising can aggravate joint pain and arthritis.

When is joint replacement 
urgery necessary?
Joint replacement surgery is a last resort for joint pain. When medication, bracing, exercise and joint injections fail, the best method of treatment is to remove the worn out joint and replace it with metal, ceramic and polyethylene. Hips, knees and shoulders have been replaced for over 40 years with great success, bringing millions of people relief from the pain, allowing them to return to active lifestyles.

Midtown Sports Medicine
285 Boulevard NE, Suite 310
Atlanta, Ga 30312
(404) 522-5828

Eric Furie, MD, FAAOS is an orthopaedic surgeon at Midtown Sports Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ABOS) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). He has served as Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Atlanta Medical Center where he is currently teaching orthopaedic residents.