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A 39-year-old member asked:

Why are injections required before doing a bone scan to check for a stress fracture?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Osiason
32 years experience
Only one: Only one inflection is needed. That is the injection of tc-mdp, the tracer taken up by he bones and detected by the nuclear medicine camera. This tracer shows active bone turnover and is focally "hot" in sites of fracture.
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 53 years experience
Blood to skeleton: Bone scan involves intravenous injection of radio tracer usually technetium 99m mdp which accumulates in skeleton. Scan may involve early phase(5-10 min) and late phase(2-3 hr) imaging. Increased uptake is seen in fractures, tumors, infection, etc. Decreased activity is seen in metal artifacts, aggressive tumor/infection, & loss of blood supply to bones. Bone scan very sensitive but not specific.
Dr. Raymond Taillefer
Nuclear Medicine 43 years experience
Radiotracer injectio: A bone scan or bone scintigraphy is obtained few hours after the injection of a radiotracer ( usually 99mtc-mdp). The distribution of this radiotracer in the various bones will be detected by a specific type of camera named gamma camera ( to detect the gamma rays from 99mtechnetium). This is the contrary of a bone x-ray where external radiation source is used.

Similar questions

A 34-year-old member asked:

What causes you to need to get an injection to do a bone scan to check for a stress fracture?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Fidias De Leon
Nuclear Medicine 22 years experience
Radiotracer: A nuclear medicine bone scan is used to evaluate for conditions affecting bones including cancer, fractures, degenerative diseases etc. The radiotracer or radioactive material used is injected through a vein quickly reach your bones where it is deposited. A gamma camera is used to detect the radiotracer and images are created. The radiation is cleared from your body mostly in urine.
Dr. Larry Wilf
Dr. Larry Wilf commented
undefined 35 years experience
A bone scan is significantly more sensitive than Xray for determining a stress fracture. It takes on average a 50% density change on Xray to see an abnormality vs about 10% on a bone scan.
Apr 8, 2013
Dr. Kenneth Bennet
Nuclear Medicine 19 years experience
The bone scan also detects the stress fracture changes much earlier than X-rays
Aug 5, 2013
Last updated Feb 9, 2017


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