Diagnostic Ultrasound of the Foot & Ankle

A diagnostic ultrasound system provides an image of patient’s internal organs or soft tissue by transmitting short bursts of ultrasonic energy into the body, producing echoes as the energy bursts encounter acoustic interfaces caused by differences in tissue impedance (intensity) characteristics. The scanner measures the intensity of these echoes, the time between them, and their direction. This information is processed and used to generate the ultrasound display.

Principal of operation Ultrasound energy, or ultrasound, refers to the high-frequency sound above the level of human hearing (greater than 20.000 Hz [cycle/sec]). For diagnostic imaging, frequencies ranging from 2 to 20 Mhz are typically used. Ultrasound waves emit mechanical vibrations which require a tissue medium for transmission. They can be predictable aimed, focused and reflected as they exhibit normal wave properties of reflection, refraction and diffraction.

Musculoskeletal Diagnostic Ultrasound (MSK) is a valuable adjunct to the podiatrist physical exam. MSK provides a quick and painless aid to diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue and bony injury and/or pathology. The patient is afforded an immediate treatment without being referred for an expensive and often uncomfortable diagnostic study. MSK is quickly becoming the standard of care as the most cost effective diagnostic study the podiatrist can perform in their office.

Pathologies in which diagnostic ultrasound has proven beneficial to the podiatrist in the office include but are not limited to:

• Plantar fascia tears, inflammation
• Plantar Fibroma
• Achilles tendonitis, tears, rupture
• Cystic Mass (ganglions)
• Retrocalcaneal Bursitis
• Morton’s Neuroma
• Tibialis posterior, rupture, dysfunction
• Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
• Bursitis
• Ligament strain, tears
• Ankle sprain, strain-joint effusion
• Foreign bodies
• Stress Fracture
• Muscle injury, rupture
• Extensor and Flexor tendonitis, tears, ruptures
• Ultrasound guided injection and/or aspiration
• Wounds