I have decided this is the best place to start this discussion!
I am undergoing lots of investigations at a top London hospital because of various spine problems in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.
One of the investigations they have done is a Bone PET / CT scan. I had only heard of these being done to look for cancer before. They were actually looking for ongoing metabolic changes in the bone and surrounding tissues. My neurosurgeon had actually ordered a SPECT / CT scan, but because they required my neck and lumbar spine to be done, they said that a PET / CT scan would be much quicker and I wouldn't have to lie still for so long. I have been offered facet joint injections in the first instance to see if they will help me. I decided that I wanted to look ito and research these injections first before deciding what to do.
In my research and reading several research papers, I have learnt about these Nuclear Medicine scans and the information that they can give the doctors. I suspect that these are going to be used more and more because of the information that they give. The scans are made up of a CT scan overlaid with the PET Scan. This clearly shows the levels where there are changes happening in the bone by 'glowing' at those levels. Research is showing that these glowing levels, which are caused by the radioactive tracer uptake in the bone, are the levels that are very likely to be the pain generating levels. This helps them to know where to target in the treatment of spinal injections. Research has shown that MRI scan will sometimes show worse degeneration at other levels, but it is the glowing levels that respond to injections given to relieve the pain.
I have read in one paper that when facet joint injections are given into the glowing facets, there has been 95% successrate in relieving the pain. I am almost certain that I am going to decide to give these injections a try. This must be a very good thing to be pretty sure where the pain generators are to save trial and error.
Has anyone else had any experience of these bone scans?