Thursday, November 26, 2009

Time to Visualization of Fractures on Bone Scan

Virtually all fractures (except skull fractures) will show increased activity on bone scan by 2 weeks. Occult hip fractures in elderly patients take about 3 days to show up on bone scans, so MRI is likely a better choice in these cases. Stress fractures are often apparent on bone scans by the time of clinical presentation.

The age of the patient does not seem to have a significant impact on the time to bone scan visualization of fractures.

90% of fractures of weight bearing bones return to normal activity on bone scan in 2 years. It may take longer for bone scan activity to return to normal in elderly patients.


Mettler FA and Guiberteau MJ. Chapter 9: Skeletal System. In Essentials of Nuclear Medicine Imaging. Fifth Edition. Saunders, Philadelphia. 2006

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