A bone scan uses a radioactive material to image the bones to assess their physiological activity. Bone scans are used to diagnose many different conditions such as:
- Bone tumours
- Bone infection
- Evaluation of prostheses
- Evaluation of reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Detection of fractures
- Detection of metabolic bone diseases
- Detection and evaluation of arthritis and degenerative disease
- Evaluation of abnormal findings on other diagnostic images e.g. x-rays, CT and MRI
However, there are other reasons that have not been listed for which a bone scan is performed, you will need to talk to your doctor about this.
- The patient is given an intravenous injection of a radioactive material.
- Depending on the clinical reason for the scan, may require immediate imaging to assess the blood flow to the bones.
- The patient returns to the department 2-3 hrs later for imaging. This may take up to 1 hr.
- There are no side effects from the radioactive injection.