How does a bone scan work?

Images calcium metab. Usually in adults the bone scan is used to detect metastatic cancer. It also is frequently used to evaluate for possible stress fractures in people with bone pain. There are many additional uses. It works by injecting a tracer that is taken up in bone similar to calcium. The small amount of radioactivity is then imaged with a camera (gamma or pet) utilizing fluorescence from the crystal.
Radioactive "dye" A bone scan is usually used to assess the whole skeleton for cancer spread, to look at specific bone sites for fracture or for bone infections. The patient receives an injection of a radiolabeled substance that is mostly incorporated in to areas of high bone turnover. A camera to detect the radioactive decay then acts to count the amount of activity. Areas of high decay are more fully evaluated.