X-rays and Ultrasound
When dealing with foot and ankle conditions, it is vital to know what the situation is. Using x-rays and ultrasound, we can achieve a clear picture of the interior of your feet and ankles. And this clear picture is what allows us to effectively treat such a wide range of conditions. At Foot & Ankle Concepts, we provide both imaging options to our patients.
What Are X-Rays?
An x-ray uses safe, low-level radiation to create an image of your body’s internal structures. When the machine sends x-rays through your body, some parts of you block more of the rays than others. This allows us to create a “photo” of the inside of the target area. X-rays are extremely effective for identifying problems with bones and harder tissues. But they also provide imaging for softer tissues, to a degree. X-rays are useful for imaging and identifying:
- Breaks and fractures
- Problems with alignment and joints
- Bone spurs
- Foreign objects
- And more
What Is An Ultrasound?
An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images in real-time of your body’s soft tissues. Unlike an x-ray, which provides a non-moving image, an ultrasound can provide continuous imaging. It allows your doctor to observe how your muscles and tissues move moment by moment.
You’ve likely heard of doctors using an ultrasound to view a baby in the womb, but it has far more uses than that. It can help us diagnose problems with soft tissues all throughout your body, including your feet and ankles.
Which Imaging Method Do I Need?
The imaging test you need depends on your situation. And you might even benefit from having both tests done to provide a comprehensive image of your affected area. In general though, each test is more effective for identifying problems with either soft or hard parts of your body.
- X-rays are excellent for bones and hard tissues
- An ultrasound is excellent for softer tissues, such as muscles
However, your foot and ankle are highly complex systems. Much of the time, health concerns arise from a combination of problems with both soft tissues and bones. In these cases, you may require both tests.
What Is An X-Ray Like?
An x-ray is very straightforward and convenient. We use lead aprons to cover the non-target areas of your body, and then we send a quick burst of x-ray radiation toward the target area. It is safe, painless, and quick.
Depending on your condition, we may take several images from different angles to provide a full picture.
What Is An Ultrasound Like?
While still entirely painless, an ultrasound test is a little more hands-on. First, we apply a thin layer of gel over the target area, which allows the high-frequency sound to be picked up more accurately. We then place a probe against your foot or ankle. We gently move it around to pick up the sounds and provide a real-time image of your soft tissues. The only sensation patients report is, at most, a slight chill from the gel application.
Get The Imaging You Need Today
The first step in treating most ankle and foot conditions is to get a clear image of the situation.Schedule your appointment today to get started toward treating your symptoms and improving your quality of life.