A bone scan is an imaging test that uses a special camera to form images of your bones. It is used to diagnose bone problems, such as fractures, cancer, or infections, and joint problems such as arthritis. It is also used to check joint replacements.
Before your scan appointment
Let the technologist know if you:
Take any medicines
Are pregnant or breastfeeding
Have had a nuclear medicine scan before
Have had a recent barium study such as a barium enema, esophagram, or upper GI
Have any fractures or artificial joints
Have any allergies
During your scan appointment
Your bone scan may take up to a half day. Bring something you can do while waiting to have your scan.
When you arrive
You are injected with a tracer (a small amount of radioactive material).
Your scan may be done right away or a few hours later. If your scan is done right away, you will have a second scan in a few hours.
During the scan
You will lie on a narrow imaging table.
A large camera is placed close to your body.
Remain as still as you can while the camera takes the pictures. This will ensure the best images.
The table or camera may be adjusted to take more pictures.
After your exam
Drink plenty of water to help clear the tracer from your body.
Your healthcare provider will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up visit or over the phone.
Your next appointment is:________________
May 12, 2017
Imaging techniques for evaluation of the painful joint, Up To Date, Overview of the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of adult patients with bone metastasis, Up To Date
Grossman, Neil, MD,Image reviewed by StayWell medical illustration team.,Walton-Ziegler, Olivia, MS, PA-C