Emerald Coast Pain Services


Bone Scans

What are bone scans and what do they mean? Bone scans use a nucleotide that is picked up by actively rebuilding bone tissues. This nucleotide is then picked up by the bone scan. Bone tissues that are actively functioning (all bone tissue is active but some is more active than others) such as bone cancers, arthritis, fractures, etc. show up as "bright" areas on the bone scan. Thus a bright are on the bone scan doesn't mean a specific diagnosis but helps when one suspects something. For instance, if one is checking for bony infiltration from cancer, the bone scan will show where this is occurring. It could also show if a fracture is old or new. The important way to examine the scan is to look for asymmetry between the right and left sides of the body. You will notice that joints have a certain degree of enhancement. The picture below shows a normal bone scan except for a possible rib fracture and some right shoulder arthritis issues. The bladder lights up due to the nucleotide being eliminated via the bladder



normal bone scan