The Foot and Ankle. Where Does Diagnostic Ultrasound Fit In?

Diagnostic ultrasound in the foot is a very common practice in podiatry-not to determine the gender of an unborn child, but to diagnose a myriad of Podiatric disorders. These disorders include but are not limited to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, bursitis, Neuromas, soft tissue masses, and foreign bodies.

Ultrasound of 1-5 Metatarsal bones

Ultrasound can see all of these pathologies by calculating the “bouncing” sound waves through the tissue. Different tissues reflect the sound waves differently. X-rays have a traditional use in offices to visualize bones and some types of foreign bodies like nails, needles or I have even seen the spine of a fish in someone’s foot on an X-ray. X-rays do not visualize soft tissue problems like those mentioned above. The main option to visualize tendons, ligaments or other soft tissues is an MRI. The problem being the cost to get an MRI is significantly higher than an ultrasound. An MRI is much more specific than an ultrasound, so in many cases it is still the standard of care.

Ultrasound can also be used when giving injections. This helps the doctor see the needle while injecting, in order to inject medicine into a very specific location.

Ultrasounds are quick, painless and do not emit radiation like X-rays.

Dr. Bowman uses ultrasound extensively in his office to diagnose many problems; this eliminates being sent elsewhere for the exam. Contact Dr. Bowman for any foot or ankle pain by calling 713-467-8886 or online at and don’t ask your podiatrist if youre having twins!

Category: Foot Health

Tags: Achilles Tendonitis, Bursitis, Foot Injuries, MRI, Neuroma, Plantar Fasciitis, Ultrasound, X-ray