Nuclear Medicine

nuclear medicine from syracuse orthopedic specialists

What is Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Procedures are noninvasive and, with the exception of intravenous injections, are usually painless medical tests that help physicians diagnose and evaluate medical conditions. Nuclear medicine can be viewed as "radiology done inside out'' because it records radiation emitting from within the body rather than radiation that is generated by external sources like X-rays.

Information for Scheduled Patients

A Bone Scan is one of many Nuclear Medicine imaging procedures. Bone scanning allows determination of small fractures, infections, loose prosthetics, and metastatic disease of the skeleton.

  • Bone Scan imaging requires an injection of a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical in a vein of the arm.
  • The radiopharmaceutical is then absorbed into the skeletal system allowing imaging to be performed.
  • The isotope most widely used in Nuclear Medicine imaging procedures is Technetium which clears the organ system within 24 to 48 hours after administration.
  • Depending on the type of scan your doctor has ordered, immediate images may be taken along with delayed images obtained two hours after the initial injection.
  • During the two-hour circulation period you will be required to drink 32 to 40 oz. of a liquid of your choice to promote urination. This is necessary to obtain the best quality images of the skeletal system. The delay imaging procedure will take 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the condition to be diagnosed.
  • SOS is unable to provide child care during your exam. Please plan accordingly.
  • A radiologist, a physician trained to interpret Nuclear Medicine and other radiology studies, will interpret the exam and send a signed report to your physician. You will obtain the results of your exam from the ordering physician with whom you should discuss questions.