Nuclear Medicine Bone Scan

A bone scan is used to show a functional or cellular view of all the bones in your body. It can look for many bone issues, such as infection, fractures/stress fractures, and cancer. Bone scans for cancer patients help physicians decide the next step in cancer treatment.

How is a bone scan performed?

The technologist will ask you a brief history and will enter your medication list into the computer. After that, you will be given an injection of a radioactive tracer in a vein in your arm. This tracer does not cause any type of reaction or side effects.

After the injection, you’re free to leave for 2 ½ to 3 hours. The technologist will give you a return time. While you are gone, drink 24 oz of fluids. You are allowed to eat and take medications, if necessary. Return to Imaging Services at your assigned time.

You’ll be led back to an imaging room and will be asked to remove any metal objects from your pockets and to remove your belt. You’ll then lay on a camera bed while the camera takes images of your bones. Additional views may be needed at the radiologist’s request. The entire scan will take about 25-35 minutes. The images will be processed, viewed and approved by the radiologist. The total time for the scan can take up to 1 hour. If additional images are needed, it could take up to an hour and a half.


Need to make an appointment? Find an imaging location most convenient for you.