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Nuclear Bone Scan & Indications


  • Detection of bone metastases
  • Diagnosis of osteomyelitis 
  • Evaluation of musculoskeletal trauma
  • Evaluation of primary benign and malignant bone lesions
  • Evaluation of bone pain

Bone Scan Test Preparation

For most studies, patients will be asked to drink as much fluid as possible, both before and after the nuclear bone scan procedure. There are no dietary restrictions. 

Bone Scan Procedure

During the first part of the nuclear bone scan procedure, the radioactive tracer is injected into a vein, usually in your arm. Depending on the reason for the procedure, there may be some pictures taken during and immediately following the injection. There is a two to three hour waiting period between the injection and the bone scan to allow the radioactive tracer to be absorbed by the bones. It is okay to eat during this waiting period.  During the waiting period, you should try to urinate as often as possible to help eliminate the excess tracer from your body.

The imaging portion of the nuclear bone scan procedure takes about one hour. Pictures that are taken depend on your specific reason for the bone scan. You will lie on the imaging table with the camera positioned above and below you. The camera will move slowly, imaging the entire length of your body taking 15 minutes and/or you could have spot images taken of a specific area of the body. It is extremely important that you remain as still as possible so that the bone scan results are accurate. 

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