Often I see patients who suffer foot or ankle pain, but who simply can’t get a satisfactory diagnosis from their primary care manager. At times like these, I turn to advanced imaging to see what a family doctor cannot. One of my favorite options is a Fluoroscan, or a video X-ray, right in my office.
Advanced imaging has been a particular interest of mine since beginning practice. My office is the first – and to my knowledge only –office in Austin offering advanced video moving x-rays. For the past 12 years, I have been privileged to diagnose patients with the aid of digitally enhanced video x-rays.
This is amazing technology allows you to magnify an area of particular interest. Standard x-rays provide limited views, allowing you to see bones from only a few standard positions. The video x-ray allows you to rotate the part so it can be seen from any direction desired and the area in question can be assessed while it is in motion.
I cannot tell you how many times we discovered fractures that were missed with standard x-rays. If there is an area of particular pain, we can palpate that area and determine the location to assess under the FluoroScan. A small toe can be magnified to fill an entire video screen. Small cracks can be seen in toes, metatarsals, the heel bone, and other areas of the foot. I am still amazed when I rotate a troublesome area and a tiny crack in a bone comes into view that would almost certainly be missed with a standard x-ray.
FlouroScan’s other value is viewing a part while it is moving in the X-ray. Foreign bodies ranging from pieces of metal to glass that are stuck in the foot are revealed and can be removed. The body is a complex system of parts that interact. With FluoroScan, I can view those parts while they work together, which often exposes the source of problems that were previously undiagnosed in still X-rays. The FluoroScan uses a minimal amount of radiation and it is such a valuable tool I cannot imagine my practice without it.