Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During the physical exam, your doctor will observe your feet from the front and the back and ask you to stand on your toes so he or she can view the mechanics of your feet. He or she may also want to look at the wear pattern on your shoes.

Imaging tests

If you're having a lot of pain in your feet, your doctor may order tests such as:

  • X-rays. A simple X-ray uses a small amount of radiation to produce images of the bones and joints in your feet. It's particularly useful in detecting arthritis.
  • Computerized tomography (CT scan). This test takes X-rays of your foot from many different angles and provides much more detail than a standard X-ray.
  • Ultrasound. If your doctor suspects an injured tendon, he or she may request an ultrasound test — which uses sound waves to produce detailed images of soft tissues within the body.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using radio waves and a strong magnet, MRIs provide excellent detail for both hard and soft tissues.
Aug. 18, 2012

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