Bone Scan

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A bone scan is performed to evaluate the overall health of your bone. It is a nuclear medicine exam which combines a small amount of radioisotope with a pharmaceutical that is targeted to go to a specific organ. This radiopharmaceutical can be injected, inhaled or swallowed and is absorbed by specific cells within your body. Nuclear medicine exams differ from other radiological exams in that they provide both functional and structural information. The exams are very sensitive and can detect disease at its earliest stage. The exams are safe, relatively painless and the radiation exposure is similar to that of other diagnostic X-Ray exams.


Need to Know

Nice to Know
  • Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
  • You may eat or drink prior to the exam
  • You make take all your medications
  • The exam consists of 2 components that are 2 to 3 hours apart
  • It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids between the 2 components
  • The first component of this exam consists of a small injection in a vein in your arm
  • The second component is the scan, which generally takes about  45 minutes


Why is This Exam Done?

Bone Scans are performed to evaluate the overall health of your Bone. Some of the more common indications are:

  • Primary or metastatic tumors – initial evaluation or follow-up of therapy
  • Pain of suspected musculoskeletal etiology
  • Paget’s disease
  • Stress or occult fractures
  • Trauma
  • Osteomyelitis or musculoskeletal inflammation
  • Bone viability – grafts or avascular necrosis (AVN)
  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Arthritis
  • Prosthetic joint evaluation for loosening or infection
  • Evaluation of abnormal findings by other imaging modalities
  • Evaluation of abnormal laboratory findings especially elevated alkaline phosphatase
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
  • Suspected Charcot’s joint

What Will Happen During the Exam?

During the first component of the exam the technologist will explain the procedure and ask you some questions regarding your overall bone health. The technologist will then inject the radiopharmaceutical into a vein in your arm and ask you to return for the scan portion of the exam 2 to 3 hours later. The scan portion consists of a nuclear medicine camera passing over your body. The camera does not emit any radiation, but rather detects the radiation emitted from the radiopharmaceutical that was injected. The camera is open so you are not completely surrounded and the technologist may stay in the scan room with you. The scan portion of the exam will generally take about 45 minutes. You will be asked to hold still but you do not need to hold your breath.


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How Should I Prepare?


Please wear comfortable clothing, you will be asked to remove any metal objects


There are no medication restrictions

Food and Drink

You may eat and drink before the exams

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What Are the Benefits and Risks?

The benefits of Bone Scan:

  • Bone scans are non-invasive procedures that are more sensitive than X-rays in evaluating bone structure and function.

Risks you should be aware of:

  • There are no risks associated with bone scans.
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Where Can I Get This Exam?

Bone scan is performed at the following location: Glastonbury 

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