WHAT IS A CALF ULTRASOUND?
The Calf Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that captures images of the anatomical structures of the calf and discovers any abnormalities in the imaged area. An ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource that assesses pathology and guides physicians towards your individualized treatment plan.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of information that a diagnostic calf ultrasound can provide:
- Acute injury to the calf muscles (including strains, tears or ruptures)
- Vascular abnormalities (including an aneurysm and deep vein thrombosis)
- Masses (including hematoma and seroma)
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
- Sciatic nerve, tibial nerve
- Tibial artery, fibular artery
- Compartment syndrome
- Along the postoperative scar
If you have any signs or symptoms of pain in the calf region, such as discomfort, pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations, and want to get a diagnostic ultrasound, a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor is required for this exam.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A CALF ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT?
There are no specific preparations necessary for the calf ultrasound but your doctor may provide you with specific instructions. Dress in clothes that allow for easy access to examine the calf, otherwise, a medical gown will be provided.
A water-based gel is used to improve the transmission of the ultrasound waves. However, if you have any allergies to gel it is important to let the ultrasound technician know before the examination. In addition, please let the ultrasound technician know if you have had any previous surgery around the imaged area.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, please notify your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns about preparing for your ultrasound, please discuss these with your physician before your appointment.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING A CALF ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT?
Upon arrival, you will be shown to a private room where the ultrasound technician will offer you a medical gown to change into if needed. You will be asked to remove any jewelry that may interfere with the ultrasound procedure. When ready, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head and gently move it along your calf with mild to moderate pressure to capture clear images. The technician may ask you to change positions in order to capture all necessary images. Once finished, you will be able to wipe off the gel and get dressed.
The assessment is approximately 15 minutes long for one calf and 30 minutes for both.
Shortly after your appointment, a radiologist will review your images and send a report to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.