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Early start

I arrived at the radiology place at just after 7 am and proceeded with the obligatory form filling – but somehow they still managed to add e to the end of Earl…

Radioactive Injection

The basis of the Nuclear Medicine Bone Scan is that they put a fast decaying isotope into your blood stream and then use a fancy scintillation counter to build up images of your blood flows in the tissues they look at – in this case hips, knees and pelvic area.

The radio isotope is Technetium-99 which is a short half life decay product from Molybdenum-99. That means the radioactivity halves every 6 hours or so in this case.

For those of you who want more on this – see the bottom of this post.

The Bone Scan

The actual scanning is done in blocks of about 5 minutes, which is the length of time it takes to build up a picture of the blood flows in the tissues. Lying still is part of the drill – they have a nifty device like a big sock to hold your arms still – and a leather strap holds the feet together. 

And the scanning table is clearly designed by a race of midgets! I almost fitted on the table!

 Next Steps

I get to pick up the films tomorrow – that will be interesting – and take them to the surgeon next week.

Apparently he will use the information to assess the health of the bones and to plan the operation.

Fun, fun, fun …

Tonight

I think I am smart enough to know it is not related, but tonight I feel 103, not 53 – everything hurts & aches from the hips to my toes!

I have even had to find a cushion to sit on while at the computer – and I hate cushions!

Both hips are competing for the most pain and the feet are agony – than God for pain killers, whiskey and sleeping pills!

Good night from Australia :}

Technetium-99m

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Technetium injection. Technetium-99 is contained in a shielded syringe.

Technetium-99m is a metastable nuclear isomer of technetium-99, symbolized as 99mTc. The “m” indicates that this is a metastable nuclear isomer, i.e., that its half-life of 6 hours is considerably longer (by 14 orders of magnitude, at least) than most nuclear isomers that undergo gamma decay. The life-time of technetium-99m is very long in terms of average gamma-decay half-lives, though short in comparison with half-lives for other kinds of radioactive decay, and in comparison with radionuclides used in many kinds of nuclear medicine tests.

Technetium-99m is used as a radioactive tracer that medical equipment can detect in the body. It is well suited to the role because it emits readily detectable 140 keV gamma rays (these are about the same wavelength emitted by conventional X-ray diagnostic equipment), and its half-life for gamma emission is 6.0058 hours (meaning that 93.7% of it decays to 99Tc in 24 hours). The “short” half-life of the isotope (in terms of human-activity and metabolism) allows for scanning procedures which collect data rapidly, but keep total patient radiation exposure low.

As in all gamma decay reactions, a metastable nuclear isomer does not change into another element (transmute) upon its isomeric transition or “decay”; thus 99mTc decays to technetium-99 (Tc-99, the ground state of the same isotope) and remains technetium. The decay of technetium-99m is accomplished by rearrangement of nucleons in its nucleus, a process that allows energy to be emitted as a gamma ray.

The resulting technetium-99 then decays to stable ruthenium-99 with a half-life of 211,000 years. It emits soft beta particles (electrons) in this process, but no gamma rays (photons). All of these characteristics ensure that the technetium-99 produced from technetium-99m produces very little extra radiation burden on the body.

Due to its short half-life, technetium-99m for nuclear medicine purposes is usually extracted from technetium-99m generators which contain molybdenum-99 (Mo-99, half-life 2.75 days), which is the usual parent nuclide for this isotope. The majority of Mo-99 produced for Tc-99m medical use comes from fission of HEU (highly enriched uranium) from only five reactors around the world: NRU, Canada; BR2, Belgium; SAFARI-1, South Africa; HFR (Petten), the Netherlands; and the OSIRIS reactor in Saclay, France.[1][2] Production from LEU (low-enriched uranium) is possible, and is produced at the new OPAL reactor, Australia, as well as other sites. Activation of Mo-98 is another, currently smaller, route of production.[3]

Demand for medical use of Mo-99 to make Tc-99m began to overtake a dwindling supply, in the late 2000s.

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