Diagnostic Ultrasound of the Foot

Our office is now equipped with the latest advancement in imaging of the foot and ankle – diagnostic ultrasound. This page gives a brief overview of ultrasound for the foot.

Ultrasound is a non-invasive, non-painful medical imaging technique that uses a physical mechanic similar to a submarine’s sonar or dolphin echolocation. The device, called a transducer, sends out high frequency sound waves and then “listens” to the response to create an image based on the sound reflected back at the machine.  Real time images of soft tissue and bone structures in the foot are obtained as the sound waves bounce off these structures.

This visualization allows the doctor to examine soft tissue within the foot and ankle to diagnose conditions such as Achilles tendonitis, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, sprains and more. Additionally, all image recording happens in “real” time as soon as the machine is turned on and placed on the body. There is no wait for any sort of picture development needed for x-rays and other imaging procedures.

Ultrasound imaging allows the foot specialist to confirm a diagnosis in real time, and therefore prescribe a treatment plan faster than traditional methods. Ultrasound is usually used in the diagnosis of soft tissue problems such as:

  • Soft tissue masses
  • Foreign bodies
  • Sprains
  • Neuromas
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • To guide injections

A new wound classification is being developed based on ultrasonagraphy.

Ultrasound is safe, and much cheaper that MRIs and CAT scans. There are no contraindications. Ultrasound does not produce radiation, or magnetization – pacemaker and pregnant patients are perfectly safe to undergo ultrasound.  At some point there maybe a need for further evaluation with MRIs and CAT scans.

If you are suffering from a chronic soft tissue problem of the foot, please inform our office staff to see if you’re a candidate for ultrasound.

At the Family FootCare Center, we specialize in: