Bone Scan

May 12, 2017

Bone Scan

Woman lying on table underneath scanner. Healthcare provider is adjusting scanner.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

Reviewed By:  

Grossman, Neil, MD,Image reviewed by StayWell medical illustration team.,Walton-Ziegler, Olivia, MS, PA-C