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Technetium tc-99m oxidronate, diagnostic, per study dose, up to 30 millicuries

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

  • Common Name: Bone Scan
  • Technical or Medical Term: Technetium Tc-99m Oxidronate Scan, Diagnostic, per Study Dose, up to 30 Millicuries (A9561)


A Technetium Tc-99m Oxidronate Scan, commonly known as a bone scan, is an imaging procedure used to identify abnormalities in the bones. It involves injecting a small amount of radioactive material (Technetium Tc-99m Oxidronate) into the bloodstream, which then accumulates in the bones and helps create detailed images of bone structure and function.


This procedure is primarily utilized to:

  • Detect bone infections
  • Diagnose bone fractures that are not visible on X-rays
  • Identify bone cancer and determine if it has spread to other parts of the skeleton
  • Evaluate unexplained bone pain
  • Monitor the progression of bone disease and effectiveness of treatment


The procedure may be recommended if the patient experiences:

  • Unexplained bone pain
  • Suspected bone infection (osteomyelitis)
  • History of cancer with bone metastasis concerns
  • Unexplained fractures
  • Symptoms suggesting bone disorders such as arthritis


  • Patients may be advised to hydrate well before the procedure to help flush out radioactive material afterward.
  • There are generally no significant dietary restrictions, but patients should follow specific instructions provided by their healthcare provider.
  • Remove all jewelry and metallic objects that might interfere with imaging.
  • Inform the healthcare provider of any medications or allergies.

Procedure Description

  1. Injection: A small amount of Technetium Tc-99m Oxidronate is injected into a vein, usually in the arm.
  2. Distribution: The patient waits for 2-4 hours for the radioactive tracer to travel through the bloodstream and accumulate in the bones.
  3. Imaging: The patient lies on a table as a special gamma camera scans the body to capture images of the bones. The camera detects areas where the radioactive material has gathered, highlighting areas of high bone activity or abnormalities.
  4. Completion: Once the imaging is done, which usually takes 30-60 minutes, the patient can leave and continue with normal activities.


The entire procedure, including injection, waiting period, and imaging, typically takes about 3-5 hours.


The procedure is usually performed in a hospital nuclear medicine department or an outpatient imaging center.


  • Nuclear Medicine Physician
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Nurses for administration of the radioactive tracer and patient care

Risks and Complications

  • Common risks: Mild discomfort at the injection site.
  • Rare risks: Allergic reactions to the radioactive material.
  • Radiation exposure is minimal and generally considered safe; however, pregnant or breastfeeding women should inform their healthcare provider due to potential risks to the baby.


  • Provides detailed images to diagnose and monitor various bone diseases.
  • Non-invasive with minimal discomfort.
  • Early detection of bone abnormalities can lead to more effective treatment.


  • Patients can return to normal activities immediately post-procedure.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the radioactive tracer.
  • Follow any specific instructions given by the healthcare provider.
  • No significant recovery time required.


  • X-rays: Less detailed but useful for some diagnoses.
  • MRI: Provides detailed images without radiation but may not always detect bone metabolism.
  • CT Scan: More detailed than X-rays, involves more radiation than a bone scan.
  • Ultrasound: Useful but limited in assessing bone conditions.

Patient Experience

  • During the injection, patients might feel a slight pinch.
  • Some mild discomfort from staying still during the scan.
  • Most patients do not experience significant pain or side effects.
  • Healthcare providers will ensure comfort and explain each step throughout the procedure.

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