Bone Scans: Bone Density Testing Part II

bone density testingAs mentioned previously, bone scans are performed to discover abnormal metabolic activity within the bones. This can be due to infection, cancer, etc. Consider a bone test to be the factor that establishes how the bones are behaving and how they heal. The second part of this article is dedicated to how the bone scan is actually performed. Here are the steps involved in bone metabolism tests:

  • Radioactive dye is injected into the arm. Then, within 2-4 hours, imaging may then begin. The dye is not harmful and can circulate freely throughout the body without worry of injury or side effects.
  • A technician then scans the bones. Damaged bone will show up on the scan due to the fact that the dye is attracted to it. They then appear as dark spots on the scanner.
  • These steps can then be repeated if the physician decides that the test was inconclusive or unclear.

If abnormalities are seen on the scan, it would then be customary to continue testing to what could be the root cause of the problem in the scan. The full procedure takes approximately an hour and can be slightly uncomfortable but not painful. The test can be helpful to determine issues with bone density and the measurement of bone metabolism.

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