Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ


I have been dealing with a dance injury for six months affecting the base of my second toe. X-rays were negative and now the doctor wants to send me for a CT scan and an MRI. I'm paying for these tests myself. If I have to choose one over the other, which one is better?


Imaging studies have unique differences. For example, CT scan can be used to look for stress fractures, especially if the bone doesn't heal. Fractures that don't heal are called nonunion.

MRIs help the doctor see if there is inflammation of the joints. The symptoms can be very much like fracture but the treatment is different.

Talk to your doctor about the need to narrow down imaging choices. Visit the radiologist's finance office. Explain your situation as a self-paying patient. Special plans can be made to help you pay off what you owe over a longer period of time.

Luis Muscolo, MD, et al. Stress Fracture Nonunion at the Base of the Second Metatarsal in a Ballet Dancer. A Case Report. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. August/September 2004. Vol. 32. No. 6. Pp. 1535-1537.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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