We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they
hear from their patients. Check out their answers.
Q: How often should my child see their pediatrician?
A: It’s important that your child have all of their required vaccinations
on time, and infants and toddlers usually have several well child visits
during the first few years of life. After age three, all children should
have a yearly well child check with a healthcare provider that includes
assessment of their growth, development and a physical exam. Seeing your
child every year instead of just when they're sick gives us the opportunity
to focus on identifying any potential problems and prevention. Teenagers
need annual well child visits too. Their worlds are changing very quickly
and they often have many questions that we can help with. A full list
of required immunizations is available at
Dr. Hollie Stewart, Campbell County Medical Group
Q: How often should I have a Pap test?
A: A Pap test is performed by your healthcare provider, who takes a sample
of cervical cells and sends them to a lab to see if abnormal cells are
present. It usually takes 2-7 years for serious changes in cervical cells
to become cancerous, but even then there may be no noticeable symptoms.
Screening may detect these changes before they become cancer. According
to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women ages 21-65
should have a Pap test every 3 years, even if they have no symptoms. If
there are symptoms or a woman has had abnormal cells before, the Pap test
might be needed more often. A woman over 65 may not need a Pap test at
all if she is screened regularly or has no history of cervical changes.
A woman who has had a hysterectomy due to cancer, or significant changes
before removal of the cervix should continue Pap tests for 20 years after
surgery. A woman who had a hysterectomy without a history of abnormal
cells does not need a routine Pap test. Always check with your healthcare
provider for their specific recommendation.
Dr. Jennifer Linden, CCMG
OB GYN Specialists
Q: Why is exercise so important in preventing and controlling diabetes
and high blood pressure?
A: Exercise makes you more sensitive to insulin, which helps decrease your
glucose levels. Vigorous exercise can decrease your A1C (a measurement
of blood sugar over time) by 1 point and blood pressure by 5-10 points.
I recommend exercising five days a week, and the two days off shouldn’t
be back-to-back. Resistance training using your own body weight, such
as squats, lunges and push-ups is a great way to work multiple muscle
groups. The more muscles you use, the more sugar you burn, which can increase
insulin sensitivity. High blood pressure and diabetes are widespread health
problems in the United States today. More than 50% of people over age
60 have hypertension, or high blood pressure; and diabetes affects more
than 8% of the whole U.S. population and up to 40% of those are undiagnosed.
Nathan Tracey, DO, CCMG
Q: What are the options for great toe arthritis?
A: Great toe arthritis is one of the more common problems that I see. We often
start patients on special inserts or shoe modifications. If this fails,
there are some successful surgical options. For early arthritis, this
may include a procedure that involves debriding or shaving down some the
arthritic portions of the joint. Great toe fusion, for more severe arthritis,
has been used for many years. This is done with a special plate and screw
system. Patients can still do most of their activities after this surgery,
but running may be a little bit more difficult. More recently there has
been an interesting innovation to treat great toe arthritis. This is called
Cartiva. It is an implant that involves not fusing the great toe joint,
but providing an artificial buffer using a material that is the same as
in contact lenses. The surgery is fairly fast with a good recovery and
we are able to restore and maintain joint mobility without needed to fuse
Robert Grunfeld, MD
Powder River Orthopedics & Spine, a CCMG Clinic