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A bone scan helps identify a variety of bone disorders and tracks the spread of cancer. This test is also helpful in finding bone injury, fractures or other damage that regular X-rays don't show. A bone scan creates the ability to scan the entire skeleton for "hot spots."
Here's how it works: you are given an injection of a small amount of radioactive material called a "tracer." The tracer seeks out injury and damage in your bones. Though the word radioactive sounds scary, a bone scan actually has no greater risk than a normal X-ray. The radiation exposure is actually half that of a CT scan.