How Our Diagnostic Ultrasound Can Save You Time and Hassle
Whenever a patient comes to see us for treatment of a foot or ankle problem, we all want the same things:
- To quickly determine your sources of pain, discomfort, and other symptoms.
- To provide prompt and direct treatment with as few obstacles or delays to recovery as possible.
Diagnostic ultrasound is an advanced tool we have that helps us achieve these goals, but it doesn’t tend to get the spotlight it deserves. It’s an unsung hero in diagnosis and treatment, and something you might never think of as being a huge benefit – but it is!
Why are we so proud to be a practice that provides in-office diagnostic ultrasound, and what can it do for you? Let’s start by explaining just what an ultrasound device does.
What is Diagnostic Ultrasound?
An ultrasound device is an imaging tool, allowing us to look at certain structures within the body from an external perspective.
Ultrasound manages to generate images by emitting high-frequency sound waves into body tissues. These waves reflect off different types and densities of tissues in different ways. Based on how the ultrasound device receives these reflections, it reconstructs an image of the tissues inside the body that we can evaluate.
You can think of ultrasound somewhat like how a bat uses echolocation to navigate – only a bat doesn’t get to see their results on a monitor and save shots for a closer inspection.
Ultrasound is best employed when we need to review images of soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. When bones require a closer look, an X-ray tends to be a better tool for the job.
So, when might we suggest the use of diagnostic ultrasound? There are many examples, but a couple include determining the full extent of a sports injury or confirming which among many potential causes is responsible for persistent heel pain.
How Does Having In-Office Diagnostic Ultrasound Help You?
When the situation calls for a clearer, closer look at what’s going on with certain foot or ankle conditions, having diagnostic ultrasound provides us several distinct advantages over offices that don’t have this technology.
Ultrasound Provides High-Quality Imaging
The more detail we receive in an imaging scan, the better we can make out the exact nature of injuries and conditions. And with that information, we are better poised to make accurate diagnoses and recommend treatment plans that best address each patient’s needs.
A good ultrasound device will provide images that are similar or better in quality than MRI. There’s a reason it’s frequently used for extremely important work such as viewing babies within the womb, after all.
Having an Ultrasound Here Saves a Trip Elsewhere
If you need a certain imaging test and the practice you go to doesn’t have it, that typically means having to be sent to a lab or a hospital instead. That can be a strain on your time, convenience, and pocketbook that we’d like to avoid whenever we can.
When an ultrasound exam is needed, we can almost always perform it right at your appointment. We find the information we need and can act on it now, instead of having to follow up with you at a second appointment.
We Have Control Over the Testing
One of the more unspoken detriments of having imaging tests conducted through a third party is that the results do not always provide the best images or angles that we need.
This is not a dig against technicians at labs or hospitals in any way. They are experts at performing imaging exams, but they can’t be expected to be experts in every area a patient needs to come to them for as well. That is simply too much to have to know, and they do the best they can with the information they are provided.
When we have control of diagnostic ultrasound, we can conduct the test with full knowledge of exactly where we need to look and what we may be looking for. We can capture the precise images we need and ensure that we have the best possible data for our diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
Ultrasound Can Also Ensure Precise Treatment
Ultrasound can still be a very useful tool even after a diagnosis has been made.
There are several foot and ankle treatments that involve injections into precise areas. These include injections of cortisone for pain as well as injections of alcohol to reduce the size of a painful neuroma. The better targeted we can be with these injections, the more effective and efficient the results can be.
With live guidance through ultrasound, we can target an injection exactly where it will have the best effects. This can not only help shorten overall recovery times but reduce the risk of requiring additional follow-up treatment as well.
Faster, Better Foot and Ankle Care
Diagnostic ultrasound will not be necessary for every case that comes through our doors, but its usefulness in getting to the root of what’s causing many problems makes it an invaluable tool in our practice.
Of course, ultrasound is only one of many expert tools and treatments we have to help our patients return to doing what they love faster and with much less getting in their way. Whatever may be causing you trouble, we’ll help you find the best path to recovery.
Schedule an appointment by calling our Colorado Springs office or by filling out our online contact form.
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