What is a bone scan?

A bone scan is used to look at the physiology of the bones. It is a very sensitive imaging modality that can identify areas of inflammation or injuries to bones and joints, bone diseases, infections and skeletal lesions.

How is the test done and how long does it take?

There are three parts to a bone scan:

Part 1 - For this part of the test a small injection of a bone tracer is injected into your vein, and images may be taken of your affected body part. This takes approximately 10mins.

Part 2 - The bone tracer takes between 2-4 hrs to completely go to your bones, therefore part 2 involves waiting. You are able to leave the department but must return back at the time the technologist has given you.

Part 3 - Involves the scanning of your bones which takes approximately 20-45mins.

Is it painful and are there any side effects?

No. There are no side effects or reaction from the injection. The injection does NOT contain iodine and is therefore safe in people who are allergic to radiological contrast injections. Although you will be required to keep still during the scan, the procedure itself is completely painless.

Can I take my normal medication?

Yes. Take all of your normal medications.

Can I eat and drink on the day of my test?

Yes. There is no need to fast prior to this test. However, drinking plenty of fluid will help the bone tracer clear from your system quicker.

What if I am pregnant?

Please inform the Doctor or the Technologist if there is a chance you are pregnant or are breastfeeding.

When do I get the results? 

The Nuclear Medicine Physician will convey urgent results to your referring Doctor, otherwise your result will be available the following day between 2:00pm to 5:00 pm.

Can I drive home after the scan?


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This is one of the Cameras used for the scan.