Living in Pain FAQ

Q: What should I do if I have shoulder pain?

No one wants to live in pain. Shoulder pain can often be caused by overuse of the joint or a sudden fall. If your injury has been chronic or long-lasting, you should be seen by an orthopedic specialist at Carle MCO. If you sustained an injury during a baseball game or another sporting event and it hurts but not too bad, try over the counter methods like alternating ice and heat. If the issue does not improve after 24-hours of in-home treatment, call to schedule an appointment!

Q: What should I do if I hurt my elbow?

Having a functional elbow to perform everyday functions may not be something you think about very often. Unless something goes wrong. Living with elbow pain can make the simplest of tasks challenging. If you’ve sustained an injury after a fall, playing tennis, playing with your grandchild, or anything in-between call to schedule an appointment!

Q: What should I do if my hand or wrist hurts?

There are few pains worse than getting a hand shut in a car door or sustaining a wrist injury. Most daily tasks, from typing to opening a door, or turning on a faucet require the use of the hand and wrist. A sudden injury or chronic pain might make these mundane duties difficult. Carle MCO is home to Central Illinois’ premier hand and wrist specialist, Dr. Jerome Oakey. Call to schedule an appointment!

Q: What should I do if I have hip pain?

If you have hip pain it is important to consider a few things. First, how long has your hip been bothering you? Did you suffer a sudden injury or has the pain been happening for a while? Either way, if the issue is persistent you should be seen by an orthopedic specialist. Call to schedule an appointment!

Q: What should I do if I hurt my knee?

At Carle MCO, our team of dedicated surgeons have done thousands of knee arthroscopies. Don’t worry, surgery may not be required or necessary to return to health. Our team of professionals will take the time to get to know you, your medical past, and history of your injury to develop a customized treatment plan for you. There is no silver bullet to treat any injury. Each patient has had different experiences, which has led them to where they are today. Do you have knee pain? Call to schedule an appointment and stop living in pain!

Q: What should I do if I twisted my ankle or hurt my foot?

There are 52 bones in the foot and ankle and four major ligaments that hold the ankle together and Carle MCO's foot and ankle specialists, Dr. Adam Buffington and Dr. Nicholas Brissey know how to to treat them all! The opportunity for an ankle twist or having something fall on your foot is highly possible. But have no fear, the experts at Carle MCO are here for you. Whether you tweaked your foot while jogging, twisted your ankle playing basketball or anything in-between, Carle MCO’s on-site X-rays and MRI’s enable our physicians to provide you with expert diagnosis and a custom treatment plan to get you back on your feet. Call to schedule an appointment!

Q: What should I do if my back hurts?

The back and spine are the nerve centers to the entire body. Having back or spine pain will impact you everyday life and ability to function. Our Interventional Pain Management specialists at Carle MCO, Dr. Paul Naour and Dr. Jason Michaels  have years of experience in treating spine issues through therapy, injections, and medicine management. Every patient is different, and our specialists will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan with the goal of improving your health and your life! call to schedule an appointment!

Surgery FAQ

Q: How do I schedule my surgery at TCOM?

The surgery scheduler at Carle MCO will work with you to schedule a date for your surgery. Following online registration, TCOM will call you at least the day before your surgery between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to provide you your surgery time. You should arrive at TCOM one hour before your surgery. Click here for full instructions on your surgery at TCOM.

Q: What should I do the day before surgery at TCOM?

Before your surgery, make sure to register at TCOMLLC.COM The website guides you to enter your medical history online to help us provide you with the best possible care and minimize long phone interviews and paperwork.

Additionally, make sure to follow your doctor’s orders on how to prep for surgery. This will differ based on what surgery you are having but may include stoppage of certain prescription medications, or additional cleanliness scrubs of the surgical location. If you are unsure what you should do before surgery call your doctor at (309) 608-5100.

Q: What should I do the day before surgery if I am having IVCS, Macs, IV Block, General or Spinal anesthesia?

Always follow the guidelines as set forth by your doctor. However, adhere to the following:

  1. Patients may have CLEAR LIQUIDS up to THREE HOURS prior to ARRIVAL TIME.
  2. Clear liquids include: water, PULP FREE juice, tea or BLACK coffee - NO CREAM OR MILK.
  3. Breast Milk up to 4 hours, formula up to 6 hours, non-Formula up to 8 hours
  4. Patients may take medications as instructed with a sip of water the morning of surgery.
  5. NO LARGE MEAL AFTER MIDNIGHT. The last large meal should be in the early evening.

Q: What should I expect the day of surgery?

Upon arrival, review all paperwork and consent forms before signing them. Once you are called back, you will be prepped for surgery. The surgeon will mark your surgical site in marker with their initials. Please make sure you agree with the surgeon and speak up if you don’t.

Different staff will ask you the same questions multiple times to make sure they have the correct patient and surgery. Don’t be alarmed! This is how we make sure everything is correct.

If your surgery required sedition or anesthetic, a responsible adult is required to be present while you receive your discharge instructions and to provide you a safe ride home.  

Q: How has COVID-19 impacted my surgery?

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every organization and every person in some way. At Carle MCO, your health and safety remain our number one priority. Out of safety precautions, you may be required to self-quarantine before your surgery. Click to see full self-quarantine instructions. Should you have any questions, please call (309) 608-5100.

Q: I just had surgery and am in pain. What should I do?

Depending on what surgery you had, some pain is likely expected once anesthetics or nerve blocks wear off. If you are in extreme pain, follow these steps of who to contact:

1.  Call Carle MCO at (309) 608-5100 and follow the prompts to speak with your doctor. If you are unable to reach your doctor:

2.  If you had outpatient surgery and were discharged home: call the SurgiCenter at (309) 662-6120. Open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. At night or during weekends, phone your physician’s office to talk to their answering service. You will receive this number upon discharge from surgery center.


3.  If you had surgery and were discharged from overnight Recovery Care (BroMenn Comfort and Care Suites): call the Recovery Care Center at (309) 662-6120, and press option 2. They are open 24/7 to take your call.

Q: I have post-operative constipation. What should I do?

Unfortunately, post-op constipation is commonly a side effect from surgery people do not tend to expect. Take the following steps to help prevent/treat this issue:

  1. Get moving! Walking as soon as possible after surgery can help get your body moving. This depends on what surgery you had done, so verify with your doctor before you jump out of bed.
  2. Decrease use of narcotic pain medication. These medications can slow down the motility of your stomach. Decreasing the amount as soon as possible could help alleviate this issue.
  3. Maintain a well-balanced diet. Drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding caffeine is a great way to help get things moving. Also, eating high-fiber foods such as whole grains, fresh fruits/vegetables, and beans are important to regaining regularity. If these tricks are not working, add in some fiber supplements like Metamucil or Benefiber.
  4. Start stool softeners such as Docusate Calcium immediately after surgery while taking narcotic pain medication to help prevent constipation.

If you feel you are experience constipation, here are some options to start with

  1. Try over the counter stool softeners. Make sure to follow the directions on the package, drink plenty of water, and check with your pharmacist if you need suggestions on what brand to buy.
  2. Try over the counter laxatives. Again, make sure to follow the directions on the package, drink plenty of water, and consult your pharmacist if you have questions on what brand to buy.

If you continue to experience issues despite trying all these measures, please reach out to your physician. It may be recommended you follow up with your primary care physician for further evaluation and treatment options. For more information, click here.

Q: What do I need to know about my dental care after an operation?

Following a joint replacement, it is important to be careful about other procedures. Learn more today!