At McVay Foot & Ankle, we work hard to surround our patients with almost everything they could possibly need for their foot care—not only in terms of having exceptional treatment options, but also in helping to cut down the need for extra appointments or unnecessary trips to the lab.
One tool that helps us do both is our diagnostic ultrasound. Far more than just a convenience or time saver for our patients, an on-site ultrasound also helps us improve the accuracy of our diagnostic evaluations and the quality of the care we provide.
What Is an Ultrasound?
Let’s start with the basics.
An ultrasound device is a tool that uses sound waves to generate images of internal body structures. High-frequency sound waves (too high for humans to hear) are distributed into the body tissues, and the pulses of sound reflect (or echo) off different types of tissue in different ways. The device “listens” for these echoes, which allows an image to be constructed.
Most people associate ultrasound images with pictures of babies in utero, but ultrasound is also extremely effective at taking images of soft tissues in general, such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, and even blood vessels. This is in contrast to X-rays, which are better for making images of bones.
Ultrasound is also extremely safe, with no known risks.
Key Advantages of In-Office Ultrasound
So, specifically, how does having an ultrasound available at our office benefit our patients? There are many reasons, but here are a few of the main ones:
- High-quality evaluation and diagnosis. A good ultrasound device, used by a skilled technician, can provide images comparable to (and in some cases better than) an MRI in quality. This allows us to get much more detailed information about the exact nature of injuries like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis (among many others), which in turn allows for more precisely tailored treatment plans. Just a few examples: ultrasound can help us tell exactly how much the plantar fascia has thickened, the location and severity of any torn tissues, whether a certain set of symptoms is caused by tendinitis or bursitis, the presence of neuromas or cysts, and much more.
- Save time and money. No need to go to the lab or the hospital for inconvenient, time-consuming, and potentially expensive tests. You get results in real time, right at your appointment, so you can head straight into your customized treatment plan.
- Diagnostic quality control. When we order images from a third party, the technician performing the test may not be an expert in foot and ankle conditions, and there’s always a risk that the images taken will be less than optimal for our purposes. By having ultrasound in-house, we can not only ensure we get the exact images we need, but can follow up on any unexpected results immediately.
- Ultrasound-guided injections. If any kind of injection therapy is recommended for your condition—such as cortisone for pain, or alcohol sclerosing injections for a neuroma—the ultrasound can enable pinpoint-precise guidance of the injection into the exact area of tissue where it will be most effective. The result is higher overall treatment success rates and lower risk of side effects or complications.
Let Us Help You Get to the True Source of Your Foot Pain
Foot pain is never normal, and almost always treatable. But if you can’t identify the precise nature and cause of your pain, or deliver an injection to the exact place it’s needed, initial treatment efforts are less likely to be successful.
Our goal is always to get things right the first time, and put together the perfect, personalized treatment plan so you can feel better, faster. Diagnostic ultrasound is an important tool in this effort, but certainly not the only one.
If your feet are hurting, trust the team at McVay Foot & Ankle to get you the results you need. Request an appointment at our Colorado Springs office by calling (719) 266-5000 or completing our online contact form today.
Get Our Running Guide Today!
In our guide, you’ll learn more about:
- The benefits of a well-planned running routine
- When you should see a doctor if you have concerns or an injury
- How fast you should progress
- The best shoes to get for your feet
- The best food for recovery
Inside, you’ll also receive a running calendar that can help you get started for a 5K run!