Ask the Doctor

Most Recent Questions

  • Broken fibula :
    How much does it generally cost to get a cast on your broken fibula
    – I’m better with medical questions than billing! There are many factors that determine the cost: insurance, deductible, severity, etc. Many clinics will work with self-pay patients as well.
  • Sore throat/earache :
    I have had a sore throat for about 7 days now. About 4 days now I have also added a rightsided earache. The throat was very severe all over, had a strep test/negative, given a z-pak just finished dose, but still have sore throat (but just rightsided now along with right earache. When I swallow, feel glass like pain along with shooting pain to ear.) Ear only hurts when I swallow. I had a root canal done on same side about 1 week prior to both starting to hurt. The sore throat started 1 week after root canal and earache started day after temp. crown was put on. All in all this has been going on for 7 days now. Should I go back to doctor or wait it out? Is there some kind of throat/ear virus going around? Do you think it is tooth related? My tooth does not hurt whatsoever.
    – With the earache, you may be developing sinusitis. It might be worth returning to your doctor. You could also be developing an abscess… Get a recheck!
  • Lump right side of neck :
    DR. for about 3 days now, I noticed a small lump on the right side of my neck. I don’t have a cold and my throat doesn’t hurt when I swallow. It is just very sore when I touch it. I am a 39 year old female. I have smoked about a pack of cigarettes a day for the past 26 years. I am worried. I have never had anything like this before. Thank you.
    – This sounds like a lymph node and generally they go away. If it persists several weeks or enlarges rapidly or becomes painful you should see a doctor sooner. I assume you are worried about cancer. Generally cancer is painless initially and this would be atypical for that. However, your doctor can give you a complete physical to help rule that out. I think you should consider stopping smoking anyhow!
  • Depression :
    I am 16 yera old girl and I have been to see my gp recently and he thinks I might have depression but i’m not sure he wants me to come back in a wek to talk to me about options but i’m scared and don’t know what to do please help should I go back and see him I don’t realy know much
    – Definitely go back and talk to your doctor. Depression is very treatable these days and there is no reason to avoid addressing this. Tell him what your concerns are, and he should work with you.
  • Post herpetic neuralgia :
    Quick, nice question, I hope. If I come in to see you, can you docs prescribe for me valacylovir to prevent post herpetic neuralgia, as preventative only, in the event I might have an out break of shingels? My family has been devastated by this disease. Some of us kids had severe chicken pox years ago. My docs at Dub Internal Med normally prescribe for me. I don’t want to bother them with thiis, as they’re overwhelmed. I keep the med here at home, in the event of such an outbreak, as it’s critical to take it at the first sign of shingels. My current supply has expired. I have excellent Aetna open PPO. How would this be coded? Can you do this when I have no symtoms? By the way, 21 caps of this med cost me 90 bucks or so after my Aetna pays. I never need to take it, but I keep it on hand for two or three years. Can this be coded? Can you do this for me?
    – It sounds reasonable to prescribe that in that situation.
  • Sore throat and head aches :
    The last 2 weeks I have had a fever, sore throat, and head aches. Should I think about getting my tonsils taken out?
    – In this day and age, it is rare to get tonsils out. Usually it is due to repeated documented strep throat. It sounds like a viral syndrome. Go to your doctor and get the strep documented. They might need to take your tonsils out then.
  • Fractured ankle :
    I dislocated my left ankle and had 2 fractures i was in a cast for 6 weeks and now am in a walking boot i can get around but my ankle isn’t what is paining me it’s my leg is that normal? it just aches something awful.. even when i try and walk it’s just the one side of the leg any suggestions? will a heating pad help take it away i have been taking advil/aleve only when necessary please let me know. thank you
    – You need to go to the emergency room immediately. That could be a blood clot. Those are dangerous and need immediate attention. Go to the emergency room!
  • Sore throat, sore head, sore ribs :
    I have had a sore throat for 2 weeks nearly 3 I have a nasal spray but its not helping my doctor told me to try taking at nigh for 2 weeks but it has been nearly a week and I think its getting worse I have also been getting sore ribs that just come and go and headaches to and my stomach gets a bit sore at the side should I go back and see my doctor and tell him about my sore heads and a bit of a sore stomach to I just don’t want him to think I’m making it up
    – Definitely go back and tell your doctor. He/she shouldn’t think you’re making it up!
  • Please help :
    I started taking yasmin birth control pill for 4 days now and noticed a little lump[swollen gland]only on the right on my throat. hurts alittle when i swallow, and my right ear. i cut down smoking cigs 3 x a day since taking yasmin. should i be worried?
    – Birth control pills can cause many things, but what you describe is generally not one of them. Lymph nodes are not uncommon with infections; if it goes away in 1-2 weeks don’t worry about it. If it persists see your doctor.
  • Raised left rib-cage :
    Hello. I have just noticed, when lying down, my left rib-cage is noticeably more raised, about 2 inches below my breast, than my my right. It is also more spiringy when pressed. There is no pain. I am an otherwise healthy 29 year old woman, who has been a social smoker for 12 years. Any suggestions?
    – It’s hard to tell from your description whether this is a new finding on you. This sounds like something that may be just the way you are. If this is something new, you should have it checked by your doctor.
  • Sore throat :
    My daughter’s throat hurt slightly for a little while and then it didn’t hurt anymore. She said that it felt better with water. She plays softball and one of the little girls has strep but I don’t think that she had it that day. Should I be worried?
    – Strep is contagious, however not as much as many people think. It’s not something you can get from someone walking through a room; it requires some degree of close contact. If she has fever, pus on her tonsils or significant pain, she should see a doctor.
  • Throat pain :
    I am a 37 yr. old woman. I awoke with a strange, almost throbbing pain on the right side of my throat. It does not seem to be the same kind of pain I have had in the past associated with a sore throat or strep throat. It has worsened and become more constant throughout the day (it had been coming and going, earlier). Now, it also radiates to my right inner ear and also, a little, to the right side of my head, mostly around the temple. When I touch my neck, there is a very tender spot with a bit of a lump (which I would assume is a swollen gland or lymph node) and when I press it, I can feel something shift and the pain intensifies at that moment. Should I go in to see a doctor immediately, or do you think it’s safe to see if it goes away on it’s own. It’s rather uncomfortable, at the moment. Thank you.
    – Generally speaking, any new onset pain that alarms you or is increased in intensity from previous pains you have experienced should be evaluated immediately. I always say use your best good judgement about such things and you will probably be right!
  • Thank you :
    Dear Staff: Thank you again for seeing my 89-year-old father on June 19 this year, after he fell. You treated him for a skin tear, of which he recovered. He did then pass away peacefully at Kobacker July 21. Thank all of you for your special attention to Harry. The cause of death was failure the thrive, secondary to rheumatoid arthritis. My 88-year-old mother survives him. She is doing quite well. She and I agree that we grieved his death in the several years before he passed. My question concerns my mother, age 88, former long time co-caregiver with me for my dad. Mom’s healthy constitution is remarkable. She has no elevated lipids, no cardiac diagnoses other than MVP but never any PVC’s. She exercises, cleans her apartment, reads everything and is a an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians and OSU Buckeyes. She takes only 20 mg Lisinopril, one daily. BP is always 140/80. Still, her feet and ankles are swelling a bit in this hot weather. Is this slight edema a function of her age or a side effect of her Lisinopril? Should I insist she keep her feet elevated when she sits? Would elevating the feet result in less stress on the heart? She has nothing remarkable with cardiac output or stroke volume, per cardia stess echo. I tell her that elevation of the feet tends to be a good thing to do. She wants to hear your ideas. Thank you again. Barb
    – Thank you for the nice question!… Swelling of the legs is something we call “dependent edema” and there are many causes. Certainly older people tend to get it more frequently and the warm humid weather seems to make it worse. Elevating her legs in the evening is definitely a way to control the symptoms. Sometimes medicines or electrolyte abnormalities may be to blame, but this is something easily checked by the family doctor. If she’s 88 and active and generally doing well she must be doing something right. I wouldn’t change too much at all!!
  • Sore throat :
    For the last 2 weeks i have noticed that when i swollow it hurts a bit. It is not a strong pain but something very slight. sometimes i have not noticed it but then i realise it is still there. I have no fever but if i feel my neck near the adams apple it is a little sore. I don’t feel any lumps or growths around the area. Please advise what you think it could be.
    – Sorry for the delays and unanswered questions! Email problems. There are many things this could be. I think you could probably give it some time if the pain is not severe and you can’t feel any growths. If it is still present in 1 or 2 weeks, or it becomes severe see a doctor.
  • Sore Throat :
    I have a really bad sore throat on the right side. I have been to the doctor and was tested for strep, it came back negative. I have white and black pus pockets on the right side only and it hurts to swollow. The doctor gave me a 5 day anitibotic to take, I dont think it is helping. What should I do, OR what in the world do I have? I am in extream pain!!!
    – Any time you are not improving as expected (you are on an antibiotic)  you need re-evaluated. This could be an abscess. Please be checked.
  • Aggravation Beneath Rib Cage :
    Hi, I admit- I don’t want my dr. thinking I’m nuts so I’ll see what you say first and heed any advice. So awhile back I started getting this funny sensation under my left rib cage, now it’s feeling like something is there all the time. Sometimes my ribs actually catch on something and I have to shift to get it to “unhinge” but when I feel around there I don’t feel anything unusual. I don’t have any other symptoms although I haven’t been able to donate twice in a row now due to low iron. Should I be concernced?
    – Most importantly, your doctor won’t think you are “nuts”. You should always have an open, honest relationship with your doctor. A problem such as you are describing could be nothing or it could be serious. This is the type of problem that a good family doctor would be able to treat appropriately based on his experiences and exams of you in the past. Don’t ever feel that the doctor will think you’re crazy. Believe me, we’ve heard everything. You definitely need checked out for that problem.
  • Bumps in Ear :
    I was recently diagnosed with an ear infection-something pretty normal for me. However, I was given a new antibiotic that I have never taken before (it’s usually been ceclor my whole like) and now I have little black bumps appearing in my ear, just outside of the ear canal. Are the bumps a) cause for concern and b)related to the change in antibiotic?
    – Any new growths or bumps should be checked out, particularly if they are painful or with discharge. I doubt strongly that something like that is related to the antibiotic.
  • Broken or sprained ankle :
    As i got up from a chair from having my legs crossed my leg gave way and i fell on my ankle and i heard a crack. i am unable to alk on my foot or put any weight on it but i can move my toes but it is swollen and very painful. could it be sprained or broken.
    – If you cannot bear weight at all, it definitely needs to be seen by a doctor. It may still be a sprain as those can be quite painful, but a fracture needs to be ruled out.
  • Swallowing problems and earache :
    When waking up yesterday morning i have since had pain when swallowing but also and more puzzling a sort of inner noise sensation radiating to my right ear, the swallowing problems also occur on the right. Aswell as all this i’ve had headaches on the right side which come and go. Is this an ear infection despite the ear itslef only feeling slightly blocked and not actually hurting? what do these things mean?
    – That is something you should have checked. It sounds most likely that you are developing a sinus infection. The inner noise sensation is often fluid build up along your inner ear. It may not hurt yet but you are a setup for full blown sinusitis.
  • Chronic exposure to chemicals in workplace :
    I’ve recently taken on a second part time job, working 15 hours weekly at a restaurant. When handling food, I wear non-powdered latex gloves, which cause no problem. My hands, however, are constantly exposed to a quarternary sanitizer (quarternaries are mostly ammonium hydroxide), and a dish detergent (mostly sodium lauryl sulfate and propylene glycol.) Should I be wearing heavier rubber gloves to protect my hands and nails from repeated exposure to these chemicals?
    – An important thing to do is to read the material data safety sheet which employers are required to keep for all chemicals in the workplace. See what the recommendations are. It was unclear from the question as to whether you are having symptoms now. If so, I would at least try heavier, impervious gloves. Also, ask your co-workers, try to see what they are doing and what problems they have had.