Bone Scan

What is a bone scan?

A nuclear bone scan is a diagnostic exam used to detect or rule out damage to bones caused by disease, injury or infection. The bone scan can detect bone damage earlier than other diagnostic procedures.

How do I prepare for a bone scan?

No special preparation is necessary. Your routine medications can be taken the day of your scan unless otherwise indicated by your doctor.

What happens during the bone scan procedure?

A specially trained technologist performs the exam. The technologist injects a small amount of a radioactive enhancement agent into your vein. Typically, you will need to wait two to three hours as the material travels through your blood stream to the bones. While waiting, remember to drink as much fluid as possible. The quality of the images depends on how much you drink.

At the time of the scan you will lie flat on the table while a special camera is placed near your body. The camera detects highlights or "hot spots" in your bones.

Images will be taken of your entire skeletal system and/or some part of it. The camera is moved manually above and below your entire body. You must lie as still as possible; any movement can interfere with the clarity of the images.

Allow yourself six hours for the test, start to completion. Once finished, you may resume your normal activities.

You should not undergo this test if you are pregnant.