Ultrasound in the forefoot

Author(s): Andrew Carne, Nicki Delves, Matthew Solan, Emma Wood

Hospital: Royal Surrey County Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 41, 480, 18-20


Foot pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints encountered. It affects nearly one in five of people in the community, is associated with increased age, female sex, obesity and pain in other body regions. It has a significant detrimental impact on health-related quality of life.

The majority of scans that we are asked to perform are to aid in the differential diagnosis and management of metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is pain in the ball of the foot. It is usually felt in the sole of the foot and is often described as being like “walking on pebbles”. Other people feel a more diffuse vague pain, ache or burning. Some people experience symptoms around only one or two toes, others have it throughout one or both feet.

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