Fluoroscopy is a medical imaging procedure that produces moving real-time images of the internal structures within the foot and ankle to help diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions affecting the joints, ligaments and many other conditions. A fluoroscopy exam can produce up to 25-30 images per second for fluid images similar to those that appear on live television.
Some of the most common uses for fluoroscopy exams include:
- Locating foreign bodies
- Guiding anesthetic injections
- Viscosupplementation injections
- Evaluation of the bones, muscles and joints
As the only type of imaging procedure to show blood flow through the vessels, fluoroscopy is often used to assist in complex surgeries or the placement of a catheter or needle. Without fluoroscopy, many of these procedures may not be able to achieve such accurate and effective results.
During the fluoroscopy procedure, a dye or contrast material may be administered intravenously in order to provide clearer, more detailed moving images of the blood vessels. The patient will then be positioned on the exam table so that the foot is exposed, and a special X-ray scanner will capture images of the targeted area. This exam may be performed on an in-patient or outpatient basis depending on the type of procedure being performed.
Fluoroscopy is considered safe for most patients and carries very few risks. Some patients may experience radiation-induced injuries or burns to the skin or underlying tissue, but this is considered rare.