Our practice provides in-office diagnostic ultrasound procedures. Ultrasound serves as the soft-tissue counterpart to what X-ray affords us in assessing bone trauma, allowing us to accurately view and monitor pathologies involving muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the like.
The Value of Podiatric Ultrasound
Diagnostic ultrasound assists our doctors in providing:
- Highly accurate examinations and measurements of the plantar fascia. The ultrasound can clearly indicate areas of inflammation, rupture, or thickening. It can also be used, in part, to definitively distinguish between plantar fasciitis and plantar fasciosis, a plantar fibroma, a heel spur, or other heel pad injuries (each of which requiring its own individual course of treatment).
- Clear examinations of the various tendons around the foot and ankle. (especially the Achilles and Posterior Tibial tendons) It allows our Doctors to ascertain the extent of tears, ruptures and varying degrees of tendonitis.
- Critical differentiation between neuromas (pinched nerves) and capsulitis (inflamed joint). Both are very similar in location and symptomatic effects, but have distinctly different treatment protocols and they can be verifiable under ultrasound examination.
- Clear distinction between assorted soft tissue tumors.
- Unmistakable clarification of the presence of foreign bodies that are often missed entirely under MRI and can be invisible to X-ray. (Indeed, having the ability to avoid unnecessary MRI’s is one of the foremost advantages of being able to offer ultrasound to our patients. Our doctors can ascertain the majority of soft-tissue pathologies right then and there, in the office, rather than having to refer you out, like most podiatrists, for a costly, time-consuming MRI.)
- Comprehensive evaluation of deep tissue trauma (as well as ulcers and lesions), where the trauma below the wound and any tunneling can be identified and carefully monitored.
- Diagnostic ultrasound provides our doctors with the ability to see soft-tissue pathologies and trauma to the foot and ankle, making possible far clearer distinctions. This information contributes greatly to our ability to best prescribe (and monitor the progress of) the most effective treatments for our patients.
Use of Diagnostic Ultrasound in Guided Injections and Aspirations
The ultrasound-guidance of injections offers greater precision for placement of medication. It is also extremely valuable in other circumstances — which include but are not limited to:
- difficult targeted injections of the plantar fascia,
- the targeting of stump neuromas, multiloculated cysts, and intra-articular injections, intra-lesional injections,
- biopsies of deep masses and abscesses,
- the aspiration of fluid-filled masses not fully palpable.
Only through live, ultrasound guidance can injections requiring this kind of precision be delivered accurately. Without ultrasound guidance, such procedures are very often (literally) hit or miss.