What is a Bone Scan?
A bone scan is performed to look for areas of the bone that show areas of increased activity due to fractures, arthritis, infection, or metastatic lesions.
What should I do to prepare for a bone scan?
There is no special preparation for a bone scan. There is a two and a half hour wait between the injection and the imaging.
What can I expect during a bone scan and how will I get my results?
The patient will be injected intravenously with a small amount of radioactivity that is attached to a compound that is incorporated into the bone matrix. There is a two and a half hour wait for the material to clear from the bloodstream and allow the skeleton to be visualized. The patient should drink several glasses of fluid and void often to help clear the bloodstream. The bladder should be empty before imaging to allow imaging of the pelvic area.
The images take twenty minutes. You will be lying on a table and a gamma camera will slowly move down your body forming a total body image. Additional spot views are often taken. Sometimes SPECT (3-D) pictures are taken.
The physician who interprets the scan will send a report to your physician, who will then share the results with you.
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The radiology information resource for patients. RadiologyInfo.org tells you how various X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. It also addresses what you may experience and how to prepare for the exams. The website contains over 200 procedure, exam and disease descriptions covering diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and radiation safety and is updated frequently with new information. All material on the RadiologyInfo.org website is reviewed and approved by experts in the field of radiology from the ACR and RSNA, as well as other professional radiology organizations.