Houston Foot and Ankle is happy to announce that we now offer diagnostic ultrasound in our office. This device is a new, innovative, diagnostic tool used to make a live image of the structures beneath the skin. Ultrasound can play an important role in examining soft tissue structures such as ligaments or tendons, which cannot be visualized on a standard x-ray. The results are immediate and the examination poses no risk to the patient. No ionizing radiation is involved. Ultrasound is used for diagnosing a wide variety of foot and ankle problems, particularly soft tissue problems.
The process incorporates harmless, high-frequency sound waves emitted from a probe. These waves penetrate different tissue areas as they travel through the designated area. The sound waves are produced by a transducer, which is a hand-held device placed on the foot. The computer processes the information and produces an image, which is used to evaluate any number of pathologies. This image can be printed at the time of the exam, recorded for later or saved as still images. Ultrasound is a completely safe, noninvasive, and painless diagnostic procedure.
Diagnostic ultrasound can greatly assist in acquiring a rapid and accurate diagnosis in many conditions. An advantage, besides safety, is the ability to perform live, active and/or passive range of motion studies.
It allows the podiatrist to observe and record motion studies such as tendon, muscle or ligament tears. In some cases, the podiatrist is able to visualize injections directly into a cyst (e.g. ganglion) to ensure accurate placement of medication.
Common problems for which ultrasound may be prescribed include: