BONE SCAN What is it? How does it work?
Bone is a living, constantly changing (remodeling) skeletal structure within us; it is not static. That is why when we break a bone, it tries to heal itself. In the process of healing new bone is added at the site of injury. It is added faster than at non-injured / non-healing sites. It usually does not matter whether the injury is due to trauma (as in a bruise or a fracture/broken bone), inflammation (arthritis), infection (osteomyelitis), or tumor (benign or malignant). It is the increased turnover, when bone is trying to heal itself, which allows us to take pictures of it and differentiate it from the adjacent healthy bone.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
You will be injected with a material containing a radioactive isotope (most commonly, 99mTechnetium) that attaches itself to the rapidly remodeling area. This occurs to a much greater degree than to the adjacent, non-injured bone, allowing the camera to create a diagnostic image. Depending on why you are having the bone scan you could be injected while under the camera or in a separate room. You should have no reaction to the injection.
The radiation you are exposed to from a bone scan is safe, and similar or less than other X-ray examinations. 99mTechnetium will disappear from your body in just a few hours. You will not pose a risk to others; however, if you plan on flying within 3 days, let the physician or technologist know. Most airports now have very sensitive Geiger counters to identify miniscule amounts of radiation. We will need to provide you with a note stating when, with what, and how much radiation you received.
If you have pain while being injected, immediately say something; it means the injection may not be going into your vein. This is not dangerous, but requires an alternate site for injection.
You will be asked to return in several hours. During the time after injection and your return, you should drink plenty of fluid (60 oz or more). It does not matter what liquid you drink, and you can mix different liquids. The fluids you consume will help eliminate the radiotracer you received, reduce your radiation exposure, and make it easier for us to read your scan. You can also eat if you wish, without restrictions. Because of the extra fluids you will likely need to urinate frequently; please do so while seated.
You must let us know if you've taken anything containing bismuth, (Pepto-Bismol, or if you've had an X-ray test using barium contrast material within the past 3-4 days). Barium and bismuth can interfere with bone scan results.
Before imaging begins you will be asked to empty your bladder. Please wear warm, comfortable clothes.
HOW LONG WILL IMAGING TAKE?
Plan on 1 hour; imaging time depends on the information requested by your doctor.
The Camera has one or two large plates (detectors). You will be placed under or between these plates while being imaged.
When your test is completed, we will communicate directly with your physician. We understand that you are anxious and will usually have a report to them by the next business day.
ERNIE G. METH, M.D.
Dr. Meth started Temecula Valley Nuclear Medicine (TVNM) in the fall of 1991. The goal was and continues to be to provide the Temecula / Murrieta / Menifee Valley with the best, most innovative Nuclear Medicine experience for our patients. During TVNM's more than 30 years of service to the Valley we introduced S.P.E.C.T. imaging (Nuclear CT), PET Scanning, innovative Nuclear therapeutics, all in a warm, friendly, welcoming environment. We are grateful to the confidence the community has extended to us and look forward to working with you.
MICHAEL S. KIPPER, M.D.
Dr. Kipper joined Dr. Meth at TVNM in 2021. Their decades-long friendship and professional relationship will translate into a "state-of-the-art" Nuclear Medicine practice, dedicated to the provision of the most advanced, personalized, quality of services in the region. We will devote our efforts to diagnosis, therapy, and monitoring response to treatment in a welcoming, friendly, and helpful atmosphere.