Medical Video: What is a Bone Scan?
Bone scan or bone scan is an imaging method used for various diagnostic purposes. This imaging procedure uses a little radioactive material to help show abnormalities in the bone.
Specifically, bone scansusually done to see whether there is a problem with bone metabolism. What is meant by bone metabolism is the process of bone destruction and its formation again. When the bone is damaged or broken, new bones will form as a healing process. Bone scan is a good technique to see whether this activity is going well or not.
Other than that, bone scan also commonly used to see if a cancer has spread to the bones from other parts of the body, such as the prostate or breast.
When do bone scans need to be done?
Your doctor will usually recommend this procedure if you think you have a bone problem. This procedure can also help find out bone pain that cannot be identified. Bone scan can show bone problems due to medical conditions such as:
- avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to lack of blood supply)
- bone cancer
- cancer that spreads to the bones from other body parts
- fibrous dysplasia (a condition that causes abnormal tissue scars to grow in healthy bones)
- infection that affects bones
- paget’s disease (a disease that causes bones to become weak and deform)
Risk of bone scan
Risk bone scan it is known to be no bigger than an ordinary x-ray X-ray. The radioactive material used in this procedure produces little radiation exposure. In fact, the risk of experiencing allergies to radioactive ingredients is very low.
However, this procedure may not be recommended for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding because there is a risk that is harmful to the fetus and the possibility of ASI contamination. Make sure you tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Preparations that need to be done before undergoingbone scan
Bone scan proceduredo not need special preparation. Before the procedure, you will be asked to remove all of your metal jewelry and accessories. The procedure will last for approximately one hour. You may be given a mild sedative by a doctor to help you be more comfortable as long as you have to be quiet for a long time.
What is the bone scan procedure like?
Before the procedure begins, you will be injected with radioactive substances through your arm. This substance will circulate in your body through the bloodstream for the next two to four hours. So, radioactive substances spread throughout your body, cells from damaged bones will attract radioactive substances to gather in these places.
After waiting for a while, the doctor will use a special camera to scan your bones. The broken part of the bone - where the radioactive substance gathers, will appear as dark spots on the image. If the results are not good, the doctor may repeat the injection and scan your bones once more.
What to do after the procedurebone scan
Bone scan usually does not cause side effects or complications. Most of the radioactive substances in your body will be wasted on their own within 24 hours, while others can last for three days.
Results bone scan considered normal if the coloring of radioactive substances is evenly distributed throughout the body. However, if your results show a darker part (hot spot) and brighter parts (cold spot), then your results can be said to be abnormal. You should see your doctor to consult further if you get abnormal results. Your doctor will explain your condition, and may ask you to do other examination procedures if needed