A bone scan is a test that uses a radioactive substance (or tracer) to examine the bones in your entire body, or a certain area, in detail. The radiation you are exposed to with the injected radioactive substance is about the same as a regular x-ray.
A bone scan is performed to detect abnormalities in the skeletal system, such as injuries, tumors and infection. Bone scans can pick up these abnormalities in early stages when x-ray findings may still be completely normal.
- Please be sure to bring the signed order from your physician requesting the examination, and your insurance cards as well.
Your Radiology Exam:
- During the test, your first step is to have a radioactive substance (or tracer) injected into a vein in your arm. You will not feel any effects from the injection. The radioactive substance travels through the blood, and eventually into the bones.
- If the scan is a three phase bone scan, you will be imaged at the time of injection.
- The actual bone scan is done between 2 to 3 hours after the injection. Between injection time and scan time, you may leave the clinic and eat normally unless you are fasting for another test. You will be asked to drink extra fluids and pass your urine as often as you can during the three-hour waiting time.
- You will be positioned on a table with the camera above and below you if you are having one certain area scanned. If your whole body is being scanned, you will be positioned on the scanner table and move through the camera. Length of the exam is 30-45 minutes.
- Your physician will receive a report within 24 -48 hours.