Bone ScanA bone scan is a nuclear imaging test, also known as bone scintigraphy to examine the problems in your bones such as fracture, cancer or infection etc.

The test uses a very small amount of radioactive material (called tracer). The tracer helps to detect the problems in the bone metabolism, i:e., the process of break down and rebuilding of new bones. The tracer is injected in vein and wherever it is absorbed in less or more amounts indicates an abnormality. Bone scans are taken after two-four hours of the injection. The scan usually takes about an hour to complete.

Nearly all radioactive material gets released from your body within three days through urine or stool. It is an outpatient procedure.

When is bone scan done?

A bone scan is recommended when your doctor suspects a problem in your bones or in case of unexplained severe bone pain. A bone scan can detect below problems:

  • Bone problems such as arthritis, infection, avascular necrosis, cancer
  • Bone cancer spread
  • Bone lesions can be revealed even before they appear in an X-ray
  • Can detect the cause of unexplained bone pain
  • Bone fractures or injuries
  • To find out if the cancer treatment is working

Doctors use the combination of bone scans and prior X-ray, CT-scans or MRI and laboratory test results to finally diagnose the problem.

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