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Bone scan results are extremely hot

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I have had chronic pain in my lower back for the past 7 years. The pain feels like a deep dull ache. I just got the results back from my bone scan on my lower back and they were "abnormally hot".

What does this mean as far as a diagnosis? What conditions might I qualify for having a "hot bonescan".

Does this mean that my problem is most likely arthritic in nature like a joint problem, rather than muscular. I'm just trying to gather as much clues as I can to help myself, because I still have NO OFFICIAL diagnosis, and the first step to getting pain relief is getting an accurate diagnosis so that doctors can help me.

Can anyone offer some knowledge as to what conditon/disease I might fall under. and what things I can rule out. I have had every other scan imaginable multiple times ct x-ray mri etc. which have all revealed nothing. This bone scan is the only thing that has shown abnormalities, which were interpreted as "extremely hot"
Any help would be deeply appreciated, as the pain is getting so bad that I cannot sleep at night.
Regards, Adam
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replied September 16th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
ADAM....
bone scans entail injection of a radioactive nuclide into your system. a hot area shown by how much nuclide is absorbed in a given bone area indicates a possible problem with the bone such as infection or cancer. scans can show problems that may develop in the future before they actually develop in the future.
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replied September 16th, 2010
I'm aware that bone scans are a common diagnostic tool for finding cancer but I don't think that really pertains to my situation. Are you suggesting that I either have an infection or cancer? Something about that theory doesn't seem right...
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replied September 16th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
docs dont seem to know what you have. i just wanted you to be aware of what hot means with regard to bone scans.
you and the dr. should certainly keep an eye on it since the hot scan can indicate a problem down the line. the surgeon is certainly the one to ask as to what this means....
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replied September 16th, 2010
Community Volunteer
Dark or cold spots, which lack the presence of tracer, may indicate bone infarction (lack of blood supply to the bone) or certain types of cancer. Bright or hot spots on the scan, where increased amounts of tracer have accumulated in certain areas of the bone, can indicate arthritis, bone cancer, a healing fracture, infection (osteomyelitis) or a disease of abnormal bone metabolism such as Paget's disease.

It is important to realize that even if a bone scan imaging test is positive for a condition, bone scans are used to diagnose conditions together with other tests and clinical information. Bone scans are sensitive tests for abnormal metabolism but are not as good at identifying the cause of the abnormality. Bone scan results are interpreted along with symptoms, X-ray results and medical history. In addition, other tests such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imagining (MRI), blood tests or a biopsy may be needed to help establish a diagnosis.

Zig
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replied September 17th, 2010
Thanks for the input, but as I said earlier, all the other scans/tests I've done have shown nothing, and the only thing that has shown something is the bone scan and nothing else.

If the bone scan test is supposed to be used in conjunction with what other ct's and mri's have found than I guess I'm sunk and will be stuck with no diagnosis, because as I've said all those tests came up with nothing.
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replied September 17th, 2010
Any new news? Have they figured out what the hell is wrong with you yet? Lol. I am sorry to hear about your pain, I have had a spinal fusion at L4-5 and now I have to have a sacroliac fusion, I am in constant pain and I know how you feel! I hope you are feeling better or at least getting treatment.
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replied September 17th, 2010
I am getting a facet joint ablation in my lower back. This better work, because apparantly this is the last straw, and the surgeon says I'm permanantly screwed if it doesn't and theres nothing I will be able to do to help my pain other than take horrible pain killers that dull my mind.

pray for me that this treatment works everyone!!!!
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replied October 28th, 2010
chronic back pain
I have been having the same condition exactly like you in my lower back since 5 years ago.I have this terrible pain every week without exception and nothing helps soothing it.it feels lime a spasm but muscle relaxers do nothing on it
it just goes away by itself after a day or two and comes back again.
do you feel any better???
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replied October 28th, 2010
Post Right SI fusion
I am 2 1/2 weeks after the SI fusion, I am doing alot better, the pain is still there but alot more managable now, as soon a the bones fuse ( which takes up to 6 months) the pain should be gone. Thank God for that, something to look forward to!
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replied September 28th, 2011
Out of curiosity Sarahgray, did you know you had an SI problem before the fusion or did the SI problem occur AFTER the fusion?

I am scheduled in 2 weeks for an L5-S1 fusion. I KNOW I have both problems, the ddd and herniated disk (already had one disectomy) and the SI issue. My doctor seems to be sure the disk is my greater source of pain, but acknowledges the SI issue as well. I've already had RFA on the SI joint. I am fearful my SI will get worse after the fusion.

How are you doing now that you are a year post surgery?
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replied February 16th, 2012
Need some kind of diagnosis
I am praying for all y'all recoveries! I had a bone scan done because I have so much pain all over. My hands and feet really have been given me lots of trouble. My scan came out highlighted in sooo many areas. The doctor still hasn't come up with a diognosis yet. Sure would like some help figuring out what this means. Thanks Tee
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replied April 30th, 2012
Jingles55
Hello! I'm sorry to hear of all this pain but I'm also happy to kno that I'm not alone in this I also had a bone scan two and a half yrs ago I showed major hot spots in all my major joints! I live in pain daily and I'm so sad for my children mommy can't always get up and roll around on the ground and play with them it breaks my heart! I have had so many tests I can't keep up with them all and the only one was my bone scan that showed anything my legs lock up and I wake my husband up screaming in pain and he has to rip my legs straight! They also crack and crunch as I walk bend or sit!! Now my back has started up lately my ortho dr was gonna shave down my knees to help with pain but after the bone scan he said he couldn't because he would have to shave down all my joints!! And another new thing is my lungs I keep getting pneumonia or chest infections and getting put in the hospital! I am so scared for my children that mommy might not be around much longer and I'm only 28yrs old with 3 kids and a husband. Pls if anyone has any ideas or info pls share with me.Thank you!
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replied May 1st, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
It sounds like a reumatological problem to me. There are a family of rheumatological disordres that come under the umbrella of what is termed Spondyloarthropathy. Spondyloarthropathy usually affects the spine and the major joints in the body. it also commonly affects the heart lungs and intestines. I copied something from an article and pasted it below.

The Symptoms of Spondyloarthropathy

All conditions that are referred to as members of the spondyloarthropathy family create different symptoms and can affect different areas of the body overall, but in general, the conditions all present with many shared symptoms. Spondyloarthropathies tend to attack the body’s major joints, primarily were ligaments attach to bone. Those who suffer from a spondyloarthropathy condition are likely to experience pain and reduced mobility in the ankles, knees, hips and lower back that is much more significant in the morning or when waking. Those symptoms are likely to grow less severe as the day progresses and if often much less severe following exercise.

Patients suffering from spondyloarthropathy may also experience pain or stiffness in the shoulders and wrists that follows the same progressive improvement in severity as the other joint pain. Patients may also experience pleuritic chest pain which is characterized by pain in the chest area that may or may not be accompanied with breathing difficulty. This symptom alone is not enough to diagnose a spondyloarthropathy as this form of chest pain is also a common symptom of pneumonia, viral illness, a pulmonary embolism, heart attack, lung cancer or a pleural tumor. For that reason, any chest pain should be considered serious and warrants a doctor’s immediate attention.

Weight loss, fever and fatigue are also common symptoms that present with all of the spondyloarthropathy conditions. Some spondyloarthropathies may also cause what is commonly known as sausage digit - a swelling of the fingers or toes. Some patients will also suffer from a heart murmur that will need to be monitored by a doctor as well.
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replied January 17th, 2013
You might try Lyrica
Lyrica has really helped my lower back. I have arthritis in the facet joints affecting my L4-5 and S1.(and lots of hematomas, which might not be causing pain) I've been in pain for 3 years, getting worse. My Chiropractor does not like Lyrica and is sending me to a pain management Dr. but Lyrica has really helped so much, I think it is a wonder drug!!! By the way, i read that arthritis causes hot spots on a bone scan. My scan is scheduled for day after tomorrow.
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