Dr. Timothy Young, a Board-Certified Foot Surgeon, Discusses Evaluation of Bone Healing Status 

Dr. Timothy Young, a Board-Certified Foot Surgeon, Discusses Evaluation of Bone Healing Status 

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Dr. Timothy Young
, a board-certified foot surgeon, discusses evaluation of bone healing status

How does your surgeon know when bone healing is adequate for unprotected weight-bearing for example if you have had bunion surgery and the bones were cut (osteotomy), then it’s important to stay in a protected boot or surgical shoe until there’s adequate bone healing. Typical bone healing takes approximately eight weeks for a healthy adult that can be less for young adult or teenager.  X-rays can be helpful.  A CT scan also can be helpful but can be quite expensive and often has artifact due to retained hardware causing magnetic interference with the imaging.  One additional tool that I like to utilize is ultrasound imaging. 

Ultrasound imaging can show subtle areas of bone bridging that you cannot see with a conventional radiograph.  X-ray findings often lag behind the actual bone healing status.  So, determining bone healing is always a challenge and based on a number of different indications such as age and health of the patient, appearance of x-rays, and post operative time frames.  Oftentimes I can get a better assessment of the actual bone healing by utilizing ultrasound imaging.  This often allows me to have our patients get out of their boot or cast earlier and then if I had to rely on x-rays alone.

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, give us a call today at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online.

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