Diagnostic Examinations

Physical podiatric examinations and x-rays can help determine the cause of problems with feet, ankles, and lower legs. Sometimes however, these tools cannot give a clear glimpse of the issues. When these initial diagnostic tools cannot diagnose the condition, an ultrasound is used to help Dr. Siegel evaluate pain, swelling, infection, and other symptoms.

Why an ultrasound may be needed

An ultrasound can be very helpful in diagnosing various conditions. Many soft-tissue problems and bone injuries can be seen more clearly using an ultrasound instead of a conventional X-ray system. Some of the many conditions that can be discovered using an ultrasound include: 

  • Bursitis. 
  • Neuroma
  • Foreign bodies. 
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ligament/tendon tears and ruptures. 
  • Muscle sprains and strains. 
  • Cartilage injury
  • Bone spurs
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Soft tissue masses and certain tumors.
  • Stress fracture. 
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. 
  • Tendonitis.

Ultrasound overview

Ultrasounds work by using the same principles involved in sonar. The ultrasound sends sound waves and records the echoing waves while a computer turns the waves into a real-time picture.

The steps of an ultrasound procedure include:

  • Applying a water-based gel to the foot, ankle, or lower leg (whichever body part is being examined). 
  • Pressing a sensor (called a transducer) against the skin – angling and sweeping the sensor to get best view of area. 
  • Reviewing findings.

In many cases, the ultrasound can be completed in about 20-30 minutes.