Diagnostic Procedures

In Office MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is sophisticated diagnostic equipment used to diagnose an array of health problems or conditions, including:

  • Arthritis.
  • Fractures.
  • Infections.
  • Injuries of the tendons, ligaments, or cartilage.
  • Tumors.

MRIs use no radiation like conventional X-rays or CT scans. They employ large magnet and radio waves to produce three-dimensional images. MRIs are very good at portraying soft tissues and bones in your feet and ankles.

People with the following conditions may not be good candidates for a MRI:

  • Conditions that requires a heart pacemaker.
  • Artificial heart valves.
  • Electronic inner ear implants.
  • Electronic stimulators.
  • Implanted pumps.
  • Metal fragments in eyes.
  • Surgical clips in the head (particularly aneurysm clips).

Individuals with dental fillings or bridges, a replacement hip or knee, or tubal ligation clips are generally safe to have a MRI.

In most cases, a full exam of the foot and ankle via MRI lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.


In Office Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a very effective tool for diagnosing a wide variety of foot and ankle problems, particularly soft tissue problems. Ultrasound uses sound waves on the body in a way much like radar uses sound waves. The waves hit a targeted area and are bounced back to a recording device, which produces an image. Ultrasound is a completely safe, noninvasive, and painless diagnostic procedure.

Common problems for which ultrasound may be prescribed include:

  • Bursitis.
  • Heel spurs or plantar fasciitis.
  • Injuries of the ligaments, tendons, or cartilage.
  • Morton's neuroma.
  • Presence of foreign bodies.
  • Soft tissue masses.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • Tendonitis or tears in a tendon.

In Office X-Rays

X-rays help determine whether a bone has been fractured or damaged by conditions such as an infection, arthritis, or other disease.

Other reasons for conventional X-rays on your feet are to:

  • Evaluate changes in the bones from infections, arthritis, or other bone disease.
  • Assess whether a child's bones are growing normally.
  • Locate foreign objects (such as pieces of glass or metal) in a wound.
  • Determine whether bones are properly set after treating a fracture.

Pregnant women, especially those in their first trimester, are advised against having X-rays because the radiaiton may harm the unborn child.