Diagnostic ultrasound can more accurately diagnose your foot injury

At Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics we are always looking at investing the latest technology to help our patients, so our podiatrists now offer diagnostic ultrasound at our Melbourne podiatry clinic. Diagnostic ultrasound helps our podiatrists to more accurately diagnose common musculoskeletal injuries in the foot and leads to more successful treatment outcomes.

Our podiatrists use the state-of- the-art SonoSite Edge II Ultrasound System and are thoroughly trained in podiatric use of ultrasound through Zedu ultrasound training solutions. Due to the high costs involved with quality point of care ultrasound systems Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics is one of the few podiatry clinics in Melbourne lucky enough to have one.

What is diagnostic ultrasound?

Diagnostic ultrasound (also known as sonography) is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within your body. It helps our podiatrists see structures inside your foot such as tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves and some superficial bone structure. In podiatry diagnostic ultrasound can help diagnose sprains, strains, tears, trapped nerves, arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions affecting the foot.

How does diagnostic ultrasound work?

Diagnostic ultrasound uses a small probe called a transducer. Ultrasound gel is placed directly on the part of the foot that is to be examined and the transducer is then applied. High-frequency sound waves travel from the probe through the gel into the foot. The transducer probe collects the sounds waves that bounce back to create an image which can then be viewed in real-time via a computer.

Diagnostic Ultrasound Camberwell podiatrist
Diagnostic ultrasound Melbourne

Advantages of diagnostic ultrasound in podiatry

Diagnostic ultrasound has enormous advantages in podiatry practice including:

  • More accurate diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions affecting the foot leading to better treatment outcomes.
  • Can be performed on site by podiatrists with images viewed in real time, saving you time and money.
  • Produces immediate diagnosis of the condition meaning that treatment can start immediately so patients see results faster.
  • Diagnostic ultrasound is painless, non-invasive and 100% safe as it does not use ionizing radiation, compared to other radiology scans such as x-rays.

Diagnostic ultrasound at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics

At Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics diagnostic ultrasound is a simple scanning procedure that takes approximately 15-20 minutes. The scan, is performed within a dedicated 30 minute consultation, with immediate results, allowing treatment to commence straight away.

Introducing the Sonosite Edge II Ultrasound System

Our podiatrists use the SonoSite Edge II Ultrasound System. This portable ultrasound system offers you an enhanced imaging experience through industry-first transducer innovations like DirectClear and Armored Cable Technology. SonoSite are world leaders in ultrasound sytsems and their systems are known for their durability, reliability and ease of use.

SonoSite Edge II Melbourne podiatrist

Foot conditions we can diagnose with diagnostic ultrasound

At our Melbourne podiatry clinic our podiatrists use diagnostic ultrasound to help diagnose the following foot conditions:

NB. If our podiatrists feel that your foot injury is out of the scope of our ultrasound experience they will advise referral to a specialist radiologist for a more thorough musculoskeletal ultrasound scan.

plantar heel pain ultrasound Melbourne

Benefits of ultrasound in the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis and plantar heel pain

One of the main reasons our podiatry clinic invested in a diagnostic ultrasound system was to help aid diagnosis of plantar heel pain. This is one of the most common conditions podiatrists treat and it can often be complex to diagnose with many differential diagnoses.

A common mistake for medical practitioners is to assume all cases of plantar heel pain are caused by plantar fasciitis. Often there are other causes and in complex cases, multiple causes. Some common other causes of plantar heel pain include: plantar fascia tears, nerve entrapment, heel fat pad atrophy and heel bone stress.

Diagnostic ultrasound helps measure plantar fascia strain

Using diagnostic ultrasound our podiatrists can check for plantar fasica tears as well as measure plantar fascia thickness and heel pad thickness. In cases of plantar fascittis (excess strain of the plantar fascia) research has shown that the symptomatic plantar fascia usually measures over 4 mm in thickness.

plantar fasciitis ultrasound Melbourne podiatrist

With ultrasound our podiatrists can also compare the symptomatic heel and plantar fascia thickness to the asymptomatic side, which also helps provide a clearer diagnostic picture. Absence of plantar fascia thickening (less than 4 mm) on ultrasound generally suggests that another factor is likely causing the heel pain.

Correct diagnosis is vital for successful heel pain treatment

Diagnostic ultrasound helps to correctly diagnose the cause of plantar heel pain which is vital for successful treatment. If custom orthotics are required the correct diagnosis also helps formulate the prescription.

For example if a plantar fascia tear is diagnosed then the injury requires support and rest. If the cause is plantar fasciitis then often support and stretching is indicated. Other causes may require footwear changes and orthotics with a specific prescription. For example heel pad atrophy benefits from custom orthotics with a deep heel cup and more cushioned footwear.

Overall since implementing diagnostic ultrasound into our clinic it has lead to a more pinpoint diagnosis of plantar heel pain, leading to greater treatment success.

Why choose Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics for diagnostic ultrasound?

There are good reasons to choose Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics for a diagnositc foot ultrasound scan over traditional radiology places. This inlcudes:

  • Save time and money by not having to travel to another location for an appointment.
  • All of our podiatrists are highly trained in podiatry ultrasound sonography.
  • Get immediate results to aid diagnosis and treatment of your foot condition.
  • Receive expert foot treatment and advice from a trained health professional immediately after your scan results, leading to a faster recovery.
Ultrasound Melbourne podiatrist

FAQ

A diagnostic ultrasound scan performed at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics costs $25 in addition to a standard consultation (30 min) fee.
Our podiatrists will perform a diagnostic ultrasound scan during a dedicated 30 minute consultation. Typically the scan takes 15-20 minutes, allowing extra time for immediate treatment of your foot problem.
Diagnostic ultrasound is a simple procedure so there is no requirement to wear specific clothing. Ultrasound gel will need to be applied to your foot or the affected part so you just need to wear comfortable clothing that can easily be rolled up above your ankle. Please also make sure your foot is free of strapping tape and bandaging prior to your scanning appointment.
No. One of the great advantages of diagnostic ultrasound scans is it is painless.
Yes. Diagnostic ultrasound is 100% safe as it does not use ionizing radiation like some other radiology scans such as x-rays.
You will first need to make an appointment with one of our podiatrists for an initial assessment of your foot problem. If the podiatrist feels diagnostic ultrasound will aid in diagnosis and treatment then this service will be offered to you. They will then book you in for a dedicated diagnostic ultrasound appointment.

Could your feet benefit from a diagnostic ultrasound scan?

At Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics we invest in the latest technology like diagnostic ultrasound to help accurately diagnose and treat your foot condition.

So if you feel your feet could benefit from a diagnostic ultrasound scan book an assessment with one our friendly Melbourne podiatrists today!