Bone scan for 13 yr old

Nurses General Nursing



My son is 13 and suffered an anoxic brain injury 5 yrs ago from a near drowning. That is really not related to my post I guess, but that injury is how we found this problem.

Last week I took him for his regular check up with his physical med Dr. He has been complaining of mid to lower back pain for about 3 months. The doc had said she detected VERY slight scoliosis at his last check up 6 months ago, but I assumed ( :crying2: ) his pain was "growing pains".

She ordered xrays of his back last week. I just got the results today. She was honest with me and said even she didn't really understand the report. She said there was an 'abnormality' found on one of his vertebrae..can't remember which one she said. She said it may be suggestive of a fracture of one of his vertebrae. She also said it could be a congenital thing. What congenital condition causes problems with just one vertebrae??

She then said the radiologist had suggested a CT scan, but she wanted a bone scan. That scared me a little.

Is it possible that I could have missed an injury severe enough to cause a fractured vertebrae?? And wouldn't he be in worse pain? He complains of pain daily, and stated a 6 on the pain scale when they asked, but wouldn't his injury have been at least noticable and maybe more painful?

She actually told me she didn't know what is wrong with my son. That's one of many things I like about her. But why would she not just go with the suggested CT scan instead of the biggie of a bone scan?

I admit to being a little paranoid. I'm paranoid that she was vague with her answers because she may suspect other things. I'm worried because they scheduled the test so quickly. I talked to her today and the test was already scheduled for Tuesday.

I know I'm being unreasonable, and I don't know what I'm expecting by posting this. I know there are no answers until after the test. I'm just scared to death. My son has been through enough. His life has been a fight for him everyday since his accident, this just isn't fair. But, life isn't fair I guess. I just hate that the innocent ones seem to get more than their share of struggles and unfair situations.

Tonight I'm not a nurse. I can't rationalize this situation to myself in a way I may be able to if it were a patient. I can't think straight without imagining the worst. Everything I read seems to suggest the worst.

Tonight I'm just a mom who is worried to death about a little guy who has already suffered too much in his short life. I know his suffering is less than many others, but he's my baby. When he hurts I hurt. I'm scared for his future. What if he has to live with this pain, or even worse pain for the rest of his life? He already suffers every single day from the brain injury, he certainly doesn't need more. I just can't stand the thought of him enduring anymore.

I know it could be worse for him. I know that several of you here have children with more serious problems. I'm not looking for pity for him or myself. Maybe just some understanding and support.

Thanks for reading,

Kim (Jacob's mom)

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,064 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

bone scan much more definitive test. sounds like you got a great doctor looking after your child. hope these links help you.

what is a bone scan?

your doctor may order a bone scan to help diagnose subtle or hidden bone fractures that may not show up on a routine x-ray, such as a stress fracture. bone scans can also help detect:

  • bone cancer
  • bone infections
  • arthritis
  • causes of unexplained bone pain

bone scan

mayo: bone scan: using nuclear medicine to look for bone abnormalities ...

tomografia de hueso / bone scan, cincinnati children's hospital ...

sending you a {{{{{hug}}}}}


274 Posts

I'll be praying for you and your son that all goes well.



84 Posts

And yes, she is a wonderful Doctor. She has never been shy about checking things out. Always has looked deeper than most other doctors. I thank God she was the rehab doc who ended up with Jake and am very thankful she continues to follow him after all these years.

I appreciate your responses and kind thoughts. I have faith he will be fine, but sometimes your mind can get away from you when it's your child I guess. He is one heck of a strong kid. :)


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