Musculoskeletal ultrasonography is a very powerful diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of wide array of foot and ankle problems. Ultrasound is an imaging technique used to visualize soft tissue such as muscles, tendons, and organs as well as blood flow with real time images. Ultrasound is non-invasive. In Orthopedics it is commonly used for diagnostic evaluation purposes as well as guiding needle placement for injections and aspirations.
Some of the foot disorders that ultrasound is used for are the following:
- Foreign bodies
- Morton’s neuroma
- Soft tissue masses
- Bursitis or capsulitis of the joints
- Ligament injuries
- Tendonitis or tendon tears
- Heel spurs or plantar fasciitis
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Ultrasound guided injection or aspirations
What is Ultrasound? Ultrasound is based on sound waves. Sound waves are emitted from a transducer probe that is applied to the body and these sound waves will past into the body and then are reflected back to the transducer probe to be recorded. The recorded image is based on the density of the object that the sound waves encounter. An object with a high density appears white or brighter on the recorded image, while objects of low density will appear black or dark on the image. Intermediate densities will appear gray. The sound waves are recorded back to the machine, which will produce the image. This image will appear on the computer screen and is recorded permanently.