Ultrasound imaging is a medical exam that uses waves to capture live images from inside your body. The first thing that people usually think about is how this is used to visualize the fetus during pregnancy, but this medical technology has multiple applications. Ultrasound imaging can be used to see internal body structures such as tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels, and nerves. Therefore, your podiatrist can use ultrasound imaging to visualize your injury, determine the nature of your pain and measure the extent of your injury. This test is live, so you get the diagnosis instantaneously.
Ultrasound imaging like X-rays can create harmful radiation.
As opposed to X-rays, ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to create a live image. Therefore, ultrasound imaging does not create any harmful radiation. In addition, by providing a live image, ultrasound imaging lets your podiatrist provide an immediate diagnosis of your injury.
What is an ultrasound-guided injection?
Your podiatrist may recommend a cortisone injection for rapid pain relief from persistent pain. This cortisone injection can be administered with or without ultrasound imaging. With the help of ultrasound imaging, your podiatrist can precisely visualize live where the cortisone injection is going, ensuring that the medication goes exactly where it is supposed to go. Therefore, ultrasound-guided cortisone injection provides better pain relief than traditional cortisone injections.
What is the process of an ultrasound examination?
Here is what you should expect from your ultrasound examination:
1. Visualizing the injury
Your podiatrist will first start by applying some ultrasound gel directly on to your skin to ensure that images are clear. Then using an ultrasound transducer, your podiatrist will start examining the different structures of your foot. This dynamic exam lets your podiatrist move your foot around to evaluate how the different structures respond to movement.
2. Diagnosis of your injury
Because ultrasound exam provides live images of your injury, your podiatrist is able to give you a live diagnosis of your problem. Your podiatrist is also able to measure the extent of your injury for later follow-ups.
3. Performing an injection
In case of persistent pain, your podiatrist can perform an ultrasound-guided cortisone injection that is more precise and efficient than a traditional injection.