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Bone Scan

A bone scan is a nuclear medicine exam that evaluates your bones to detect arthritis, osteoporosis, fracture, sports injuries, other bone abnormalities as a result of cancer, and possible infection of soft tissue or bone.

What to Bring

  • Your physician order (your physician may have already sent this to us)
  • Personal ID
  • Insurance Cards

How to Prepare

  • There is no special preparation for this exam.
  • You may eat and drink the morning of the test.
  • Do wear comfortable clothing with no metal and leave valuable jewelry at home.
  • Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant.
  • If you wear an on-body device (insulin pump, insulin regulators, Neulasta, other chemo/insulin devices, etc.), you must inform your technologist.

What to Expect

  • The technologist will explain the test and answer any questions you may have.
  • You will be given a small amount of radioactive tracer (the imaging agent) in your vein. There are no side effects to the injection.
  • If your doctor is looking for certain types of fractures or infections, you may have a quick picture taken at this time.
  • Your technologist will ask you to drink plenty of fluids (24-32 ounces) after the injection. This allows the radioactive tracer to be “cleared out of your soft tissues” and gives us a clearer image of the bones.
  • You will be instructed to return for the actual imaging 3-4 hours later after the initial injection.
  • During the imaging portion, you will be lying down on a cushioned table for approximately 30-45 minutes depending on the extent of the test.
  • If only a small area of interest is to be imaged, it may only take 15-30 minutes.

After the Exam

  • There are no special instructions.
  • Your study will be reviewed by a Radiologist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you.