PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. Most women should start getting Pap smears at age 21 years and every three years after. It should be a part of your annual physical exam. The test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus or womb. During the procedure, cells from the cervix are scraped away. It is not painful and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You may bleed a little after the test is completed.

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.  What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health....

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ORAL HERPES

Oral herpes is an infection caused by a specific type of the herpes simplex virus. This condition, also called HSV-1 or sometimes cold sores or fever blisters, creates painful sores on your lips, gums and tongue, as well as the roof of your mouth and sometimes the inside of your cheeks. It may even affect your nose and chin. Symptoms of oral herpes include swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, tiredness and aching muscles. While the initial infection with oral herpes occurs most often in children ages 1-2 years, ….

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Stress fractures are the painful bane of runners and other athletes such as soccer, tennis and basketball players. These tiny cracks in a bone are usually caused by repetitive stress or force, overuse and walking or running on uneven surfaces. Stress fractures are most common in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Osteoporosis, chemotherapy and other conditions that weaken the bones can also lead to stress fractures. Female athletes are more prone to stress fractures than male athletes.


According to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health (www.ipfh.org), a fracture is a break of any size in a bone. A displaced bone fracture happens when the broken ends of a fracture move away from one another and a gap develops between them. A non-displaced fracture, also called a hair- line or stress fracture, occurs when a bone develops a crack or breaks but the broken ends don’t move apart.


The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org) says stress fractures occur most often in the second and third metatarsals in the foot, the areas of greatest impact on your foot as you push off when you walk or run. Stress fractures occur over time when repetitive forces result in microscopic damage to the bone. The most common cause of stress fractures is a sudden increase in physical activity, either frequency or duration – doing too much too soon. The AAOS’ research shows stress fractures happen more frequently in the winter months, when vitamin D levels in the body are lower.

Symptoms of a stress fracture include tenderness or pain in the area of the fracture, swelling, discoloration and pain when walking on or moving the broken appendage. Stress fractures near a joint may cause the joint to become dislocated.


Treatment will vary depending on the location of the stress fracture and its severity. Treating a stress fracture usually includes immobilizing the injured area for a period of six to eight weeks. Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, you might wear a cast, boot or brace to support the injured limb and reduce pressure on it. Some stress fractures require surgery to heal properly. Take seriously your physician’s recommendation as to how long to stay off the injured appendage. If you try to go back to your chosen activity too quickly, you may impede the healing process and increase your risk for a larger stress fracture or even a complete fracture.


There are some things you can do to protect yourself from stress frac- tures in your feet. Be sure to purchase proper shoes for whatever sport you play. They should fit well and have nonslip soles, provide adequate support for your ankles

TREATING STRESS FRACTURES

and absorb the repetitive forces that can lead to a stress fracture. Replace the shoes as they wear out. Use proper techniques when performing your chosen activity and start off slowly, gradually increasing your time, speed and distance. When you feel discomfort or pain, follow the R.I.C.E. protocol: rest, ice, compression and elevation. See your primary care provider if your symptoms persist for more than a couple of days.

DR. TODD MARTIN

Todd Martin graduated from Northern Kentucky University in 1990 and completed his master’s degree in 1999, receiving honors in both programs. He is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and has worked in emergency medicine and family practice. Todd has lived in Lexington with his wife, Lori, since 2000 and is an avid fly fisherman and outdoor enthusiast. He joined Family Practice Associates of Lexington in 2013. He believes in treating not just the disease but the patient as a complete human being.

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