Bone Scan

(Radionuclide Bone Scan; Bone Scintigraphy)

Definition

A bone scan is a test that detects areas of increased or decreased bone activity. These may indicate bone injury or disease. Radioactive isotopes and tracer chemicals are used to highlight problem areas.
Skeletal System
women skeleton
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Reasons for test

The test is done to detect an abnormal process involving your bone, including the following:
Stress Fractures
Tib / Fib fracture
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely risk free. If you are planning to have a bone scan, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
  • Allergic reaction to the injected material
  • Infection
Some people worry about the use of radioactive material in a bone scan. The amount of radioactivity is small, though larger than you would receive from common x-ray procedures, like a chest x-ray or dental x-ray. The radioactive material is eliminated from the body within 2-3 days. Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the test.

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