As I sit here, staring at a rather old anatomy book, desperately hoping that a) I have not forgotten too much and b) I can cram the things I have forgotten back into my brain, it occurred to me that it might be worth sharing some of the journey that Lloyd and I are about to undertake.

At Theale Wellbeing Centre we are always looking for ways to improve, enhance and innovate with regards to the services that we offer. For a while now we have been working alongside Edd Henstridge. Edd is a very highly regarded and knowledgeable podiatrist. One of the tools he uses to make sure that his patients get the most appropriate treatment and, therefore, a much greater chance of achieving the results they want is diagnostic ultrasound. This allows Edd to more accurately assess the causes of his patient’s symptoms and allows the patient to visualise the problem. This often leads to our patients feeling and functioning much better in a relatively short space of time.

Lloyd and I sat down a few months ago and discussed how we were going to take the practice forward. We had a couple of options to consider that we thought could bring real benefits. However, we were struck by the positive impact that Edd’s approach has had, and it helped that we were both excited by the idea of becoming proficient in diagnostic ultrasound. Diagnostic ultrasound can be used as an aid to the assessment of a wide range of areas of the body and conditions and should allow us to manage our patient’s problems to an even higher standard. Now, I should make it clear that we will not be professional sonographers or radiologists and will still be referring where appropriate. Additionally, we will only be using it to help us identify problems with the muscles, tendons and joints rather than “lumps and bumps” or internal organs.

Having decided that we were both very keen to explore this further we have taken our first steps towards becoming competent at this rather tricky skill. I have attended a two day “Introduction to Musculo-skeletal Diagnostic Ultrasound” course in London and both of us have been watching video tutorials and reading books in order to understand the basics. Lloyd has also been “shadowing” Edd to gain valuable experience and see the power of diagnostic ultrasound in action. Lloyd has registered for a podiatry specific course which begins in July and I am signed up for a Post Graduate Certificate course which starts at the end of August. Both of us are trying to fire up our grey cells and are furiously brushing up on our anatomy. Thankfully, the internet and our university textbooks are rich sources of material.

The next (and rather scary) step for us is to choose which machine to buy. This is a significant investment for us and, as you might expect, the more you spend the better the machine. Hopefully, the next time you hear from us we will have made a decision and may even be in possession of our new machine. Boys and their toys, eh?

So, if these two “old dogs” start to look a little more frazzled than usual please forgive us, it will just be the strain we are placing on our brains. And you be warned, if you sit still too long, we might be asking very politely whether you would mind having your elbow or foot scanned, we need all the experience we can get!

Michael Palfrey