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Sturgis, SD
A 34-year-old female asked:

how can you have chronic joint pain . stiffness, achey, puffy hands& ankles but have a normal nuclear bone scan of entire body ? also have neuropathy.

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Kass
Podiatry 28 years experience
A bone scan : Will light up in regions of increased bone turnover like in a fracture or infection. Just because there is inflammation in a joint or pain does not mean the scan would light up. Neuropathy, like wise, would not cause a bone scan to light up.
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Joint activity unless there is reactive bone proliferation is not diagnosed on most bone scans. Sometimes early imaging ( a few minutes after injection, will suggest increased soft tissue uptake, indicative of possible inflammation. This activity disappears and is not visible on delayed images performed several hours after injection of the radiotracer. A lot of institutions do not perform multiple phase studies on adults.
Dec 30, 2012
Dr. David Bloome
Orthopedic Surgery 25 years experience
Rheumatologist: I recommend you see a rheumatologist for these symptoms to evaluate you for a rheumatologic disorder.
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Probably arhtritis: The bone scan after injection of radioisotope defines metabolism in bones.Arthritis does not always affect the bones, depending on type of arthritis, but affects the synovium, tissue in the joint. Early in rheumatoid arthritis neither radiographs or bone scan are positive. Rheumatololgist can perform blood tests, physical examination, and sometimes order MRI to determine type of arthritis.

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Last updated Mar 9, 2016

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