A bone scan is a nuclear imaging test used to help diagnose problems with bones. It safely uses a very small amount of radioactive drug called a radiopharmaceutical. This scan is done in case of unexplained skeletal pain, bone infection, the spread of a tumour to bones or any bone injury that can't be seen on a standard X-ray.
You must inform the doctor of any history of allergy or asthma and your medical history as well. This procedure does not require fasting or any diet restriction. In case you have done this scan in the past, please carry your reports / CDs. You are advised not to wear any metal jewellery/ornaments, belt etc on the day of the scan. You must avoid using a mobile phone during the procedure.
If you know or think you could be pregnant, inform attending staff. Duration of the scan is about 15 to 20 mins. However, the scan will be done 3 hours post injecting radioactive medicine. You will be given an option to wait in the injection room or come back after three hours for the scan. During these 3 hours of wait time, you must have plenty of water to flush out the radioactive medicine from the body. Also, avoid close contact with pregnant women and children.
The technician will check past medical history and explain the procedure. The technician will also explain all the instructions you must follow during the procedure and obtain consent from you.
You will have to take off all ornaments, metallic accessories, belt, innerwear with metal wires etc. A cannula is inserted by the nurse, post which the technician injects the radioactive medicine. You may feel slightly warm for some time after the injection.
You will be asked to wait in the injection room for 3 hours, post which the scan will be done. During this time you must drink plenty of water and void urine frequently. You will also be given an option to go and come back after 3 hours for the scan if you wish. You must stay away from pregnant women/children during this period.
You will be asked to empty your bladder/void urine before the scan. A whole-body scan is done after 3 hours and this usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes. Post scan, a doctor will review the images and if required may suggest for additional images. This will be done immediately and will take 15 more minutes.
In some cases depending on the doctor’s clinical judgement, additional low dose CT will also be performed (which will incur an extra cost.
You must drink plenty of water during the course of the day. This is essential to flush out the remaining radioactive medicine in the body. You must stay away from pregnant women and children for 24 hours, to avoid radioactive exposure.
There are no dietary restrictions post the procedure and you may resume all normal activities too. Reports will be issued the same day after 4 pm.
A bone scan is a nuclear imaging test used to diagnose bone conditions like skeletal pain, infection and tumour or injury related to bones. The scanning takes 15-20 minutes and reports are issued after a few hours. Watch the video to know more about the instructions to be followed before and after the procedure.