Items in AFP with MESH term: Physical Examination
ABSTRACT: Acute low back pain is one of the most common reasons for adults to see a family physician. Although most patients recover quickly with minimal treatment, proper evaluation is imperative to identify rare cases of serious underlying pathology. Certain red flags should prompt aggressive treatment or referral to a spine specialist, whereas others are less concerning. Serious red flags include significant trauma related to age (i.e., injury related to a fall from a height or motor vehicle crash in a young patient, or from a minor fall or heavy lifting in a patient with osteoporosis or possible osteoporosis), major or progressive motor or sensory deficit, new-onset bowel or bladder incontinence or urinary retention, loss of anal sphincter tone, saddle anesthesia, history of cancer metastatic to bone, and suspected spinal infection. Without clinical signs of serious pathology, diagnostic imaging and laboratory testing often are not required. Although there are numerous treatments for nonspecific acute low back pain, most have little evidence of benefit. Patient education and medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, and muscle relaxants are beneficial. Bed rest should be avoided if possible. Exercises directed by a physical therapist, such as the McKenzie method and spine stabilization exercises, may decrease recurrent pain and need for health care services. Spinal manipulation and chiropractic techniques are no more effective than established medical treatments, and adding them to established treatments does not improve outcomes. No substantial benefit has been shown with oral steroids, acupuncture, massage, traction, lumbar supports, or regular exercise programs.
Causes and Evaluation of Chronic Dyspnea - Article
ABSTRACT: Chronic dyspnea is shortness of breath that lasts more than one month. The perception of dyspnea varies based on behavioral and physiologic responses. Dyspnea that is greater than expected with the degree of exertion is a symptom of disease. Most cases of dyspnea result from asthma, heart failure and myocardial ischemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease, pneumonia, or psychogenic disorders. The etiology of dyspnea is multifactorial in about one-third of patients. The clinical presentation alone is adequate to make a diagnosis in 66 percent of patients with dyspnea. Patients’ descriptions of the sensation of dyspnea may be helpful, but associated symptoms and risk factors, such as smoking, chemical exposures, and medication use, should also be considered. Examination findings (e.g., jugular venous distention, decreased breath sounds or wheezing, pleural rub, clubbing) may be helpful in making the diagnosis. Initial testing in patients with chronic dyspnea includes chest radiography, electrocardiography, spirometry, complete blood count, and basic metabolic panel. Measurement of brain natriuretic peptide levels may help exclude heart failure, and D-dimer testing may help rule out pulmonary emboli. Pulmonary function studies can be used to identify emphysema and interstitial lung diseases. Computed tomography of the chest is the most appropriate imaging study for diagnosing suspected pulmonary causes of chronic dyspnea. To diagnose pulmonary arterial hypertension or certain interstitial lung diseases, right heart catheterization or bronchoscopy may be needed.
Arcuate, Red Plaques with Pustules on the Trunk - Photo Quiz
ABSTRACT: Although historical findings have some value in diagnosing internal derangement of the knee, a thorough physical examination can often rule out fracture and ligamentous and meniscal injuries. The Ottawa Knee Rule can help physicians determine which patients require radiography. Positive physical examination tests and findings of acute effusion suggest internal derangement. An abnormal McMurray or Thessaly test strongly suggests meniscal injury, whereas a normal Thessaly test may rule out meniscal injury. Absence of evidence of joint effusion significantly decreases the probability of internal derangement. Magnetic resonance imaging should be reserved for ruling out internal derangement in patients with suggestive historical and physical examination findings.
ABSTRACT: High blood pressure in children and adolescents is a growing health problem that is often overlooked by physicians. Normal blood pressure values for children and adolescents are based on age, sex, and height, and are available in standardized tables. Prehypertension is defined as a blood pressure in at least the 90th percentile, but less than the 95th percentile, for age, sex, and height, or a measurement of 120/80 mm Hg or greater. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure in the 95th percentile or greater. A secondary etiology of hypertension is much more likely in children than in adults, with renal parenchymal disease and renovascular disease being the most common. Overweight and obesity are strongly correlated with primary hypertension in children. A history and physical examination are needed for all children with newly diagnosed hypertension to help rule out underlying medical disorders. Children with hypertension should also be screened for other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia, and should be evaluated for target organ damage with a retinal examination and echocardiography. Hypertension in children is treated with lifestyle changes, including weight loss for those who are overweight or obese; a healthy, low-sodium diet; regular physical activity; and avoidance of tobacco and alcohol. Children with symptomatic hypertension, secondary hypertension, target organ damage, diabetes, or persistent hypertension despite nonpharmacologic measures should be treated with antihypertensive medications. Thiazide diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers are safe, effective, and well tolerated in children.
Persistent Cough - Photo Quiz
Generalized Red Rash - Photo Quiz
The Adult Well Male Examination - Article
ABSTRACT: The adult well male examination should incorporate evidence-based guidance toward the promotion of optimal health and well-being, including screening tests shown to improve health outcomes. Nearly one-third of men report not having a primary care physician. The medical history should include substance use; risk factors for sexually transmitted infections; diet and exercise habits; and symptoms of depression. Physical examination should include blood pressure and body mass index screening. Men with sustained blood pressures greater than 135/80 mm Hg should be screened for diabetes mellitus. Lipid screening is warranted in all men 35 years and older, and in men 20 to 34 years of age who have cardiovascular risk factors. Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm should occur between 65 and 75 years of age in men who have ever smoked. There is insufficient evidence to recommend screening men for osteoporosis or skin cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has provisionally recommended against prostate-specific antigen–based screening for prostate cancer because the harms of testing and overtreatment outweigh potential benefits. Screening for colorectal cancer should begin at 50 years of age in men of average risk and continue until at least 75 years of age. Screening should be performed by high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing every year, flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years combined with annual fecal occult blood testing, or colonoscopy every 10 years. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against screening for testicular cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Immunizations should be recommended according to guidelines from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
ABSTRACT: Although amenorrhea may result from a number of different conditions, a systematic evaluation including a detailed history, physical examination, and laboratory assessment of selected serum hormone levels can usually identify the underlying cause. Primary amenorrhea, which by definition is failure to reach menarche, is often the result of chromosomal irregularities leading to primary ovarian insufficiency (e.g., Turner syndrome) or anatomic abnormalities (e.g., Müllerian agenesis). Secondary amenorrhea is defined as the cessation of regular menses for three months or the cessation of irregular menses for six months. Most cases of secondary amenorrhea can be attributed to polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothalamic amenorrhea, hyperprolactinemia, or primary ovarian insufficiency. Pregnancy should be excluded in all cases. Initial workup of primary and secondary amenorrhea includes a pregnancy test and serum levels of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, and thyroid-stimulating hormone. Patients with primary ovarian insufficiency can maintain unpredictable ovarian function and should not be presumed infertile. Patients with hypothalamic amenorrhea should be evaluated for eating disorders and are at risk for decreased bone density. Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome are at risk for glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and other aspects of metabolic syndrome. Patients with Turner syndrome (or variant) should be treated by a physician familiar with the appropriate screening and treatment measures. Treatment goals for patients with amenorrhea may vary considerably, and depend on the patient and the specific diagnosis.