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Bone Scan Test

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BONE SCAN TEST DEFINITION

A bone test is a nuclear imaging test that scans your bones for any possibility of bone disease. It's given to any patient that suffers from any unexplained skeletal pain that could be explained by bone injury, bone loss, or bone injury that couldn't be detected via an x-ray scan.

BONE SCAN TEST PURPOSE

A bone scan test is best used if the doctor suspects you're suffering from the following conditions: Avascular necrosis (bone tissue death or impaired bone blood supply), fibrous dysplasia, osteomyelitis (infection of the joints or bones), metastasized cancer that has spread to the bone, bone cancer, Paget's disease of the bone, and arthritis.

BONE SCAN TEST RISKS

The bone scan test is no more dangerous than your conventional x-ray. The radiation exposure produced by the scan is negligible, at best. Of course, you should be warned that it involves injection and lying on your back, which can be uncomfortable. Tracer allergy risk is also quite low.
BONE SCAN TEST
Image: BONE SCAN TEST

BONE SCAN TEST PREPARATION REQUIRED

You don't need to change your diet a day or hours before the scan. You will, however, need to remove all metal objects and jewelry in your person before undergoing the scan. Nursing or pregnant mothers are discouraged from taking the scan, though.

BONE SCAN TEST PROCEDURE

You will first be injected with tracers into the vein of your arm that will ensure the nuclear imaging test's clarity. You will then be scanned as soon as possible or later, when the tracers have fully circulated into your body and have been absorbed by your bones. You'll then be asked to lie down on a table while a bracer supporting a tracer-sensitive camera passes back and forth your body.

BONE SCAN TEST COMPLICATIONS

The bone nuclear imaging test has no known complications. The radiation produced by the bone scan is too negligible to even be considered fatal or dangerous. Of course, because your skin has been penetrated, there's always the risk of infection or allergy from the tracers themselves.

BONE SCAN TEST SIDE EFFECTS

Aside from immediate pain you'll get from being injected with tracers, you won't feel any side effects from the procedure at all. Of course, if pain persists, consult your doctor immediately.

BONE SCAN TEST RESULTS

The radiologist looks for signs of abnormal bone metabolism in the scans, which should show up as light "cold spots" and dark "hot spots" where the tracers have or haven't gathered. This bone test method is particularly useful in learning the exact cause of abnormalities and conditions.
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