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Advanced Podiatry Services, Dr. Howard Penn, Lackawanna, NY

DIAGNOSTIC ULTRASOUND

What is Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging?

Ultrasound involves the sending of sound waves through the body. Those sound waves are reflected off the internal organs. The reflections are then interpreted by special instruments that subsequently create an image of anatomic parts. No ionizing radiation (x-ray) is involved in ultrasound imaging. An ultrasound image is a useful way of examining the musculoskeletal system of the body to detect problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and soft tissue. Ultrasound images are captured in real time, so they can often show movement, function and anatomy, as well as enable the doctor to diagnose a variety of conditions and assess damage after an injury.

What are the uses of the procedure?

Ultrasound images can be useful in diagnosing the following conditions in the foot:

  1. Plantar fasciitis of partial tear
  2. Plantar fibroma
  3. Morton's neuroma
  4. Achilles tendon rupture or tendonitis
  5. Heel spurs
  6. Bone injuries-fractures-stress fractures
  7. Retrocalcaneal bursitis
  8. Tibialis posterior- rupture- dysfunction
  9. Cystic masses
  10. Fat pad thickness for at risk diabetics
  11. Rheumatoid arthritis- capsular erosion- nodules
  12. Ankle sprains- strains
  13. Guided needle aspirations and injections

How should I prepare for the procedure?

You should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. No other preparation is required.

What does the equipment look like?

The equipment consists of a transducer and a monitoring system. The transducer is a small, hand-held device that resembles a microphone. A lubricating gel is spread on the area being examined. The transducer is placed on the examining area and an image is immediately visible on a screen that resembles a computer monitor.

How is the procedure performed?

The patient is positioned on the examining chair. The clear gel is applied to the area that will be examined. The gel helps the transducer make a secure contact and eliminates air pockets between the transducer and the skin. The doctor then presses the transducer firmly against the skin and sweeps it back and forth to image the area of interest, reviewing the images on a monitor and capturing snapshots as required.

What are the benefits versus the risks?

Benefits

  • Ultrasound scanning is usually painless and noninvasive
  • Ultrasound imaging uses no ionizing radiation
  • Ultrasound provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding injections or aspirations of fluid in joints or elsewhere
  • Unlike the strong magnetic field of an MRI, ultrasound is not affected by cardiac pacemakers, ferromagnetic implants or fragments within the body.
  • Ultrasound may actually have advantages over MRI in seeing tendon structure, which is better appreciated by ultrasound than MRI and a fraction of the cost

Risks

  • For diagnostic ultrasound there are no known harmful effects on humans

What are the limitations of ultrasound imaging?

Ultrasound has difficulty penetrating bone and therefore, can only see the outer surface of bony structures and not what lies within and beyond. For visualizing internal structure of bones or certain joints, other imaging modalities, such as MRI, is selected.




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Advanced Podiatry Services
Howard A. Penn, D.P.M.
1271 Ridge Road
Lackawanna, NY 14218
Tel: 716.824.9835
Fax: 716.827.7095
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