Bone Scan

Where do I register?

You may call 706.774.2125 to pre-register if you prefer. Please report to Central Registration in The Outpatient Center at your scheduled check-in time.

Where do I park?

Please park in the Outpatient Parking Lot off the main circle to the front entrance of the hospital. Inform the attendant at the gate when you enter the Outpatient Parking Lot if you need shuttle service. If you need wheelchair assistance, please park in the main hospital parking deck. 

What is the test?

A bone scan a test that detects areas of increased or decreased bone metabolism (turnover). The test is performed to identify abnormal processes involving the bone such as tumor, infection, or fracture.

A radiotracer (bone-seeking radionuclide) is injected into the bloodstream through a vein. As it decays, the radiotracer emits gamma radiation, which is detected by a camera that slowly scans your body. The camera captures images of how much radiotracer collects in the bones.

If a bone scan is performed to evaluate possible fracture or infection, images will be performed shortly after the radiotracer injection, as well as after a 3-hour delay, when the tracer has collected in the bones. This is called a 3-phase bone scan.

To evaluate metastatic bone disease, images are obtained only after the 3-hour delay. Information from the camera is recorded in a computer, which then processes the data and creates an image.

The scanning part of the test will last about an hour and may require moving to various positions.

Test Preparation

You must remove jewelry and other metal objects. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown.

Special Considerations

  • If you are pregnant or nursing, the test may be postponed to prevent exposing the fetus to radiation.
  • The amount of radioactivity in the injection is very small, and virtually all activity is gone from the body within 2-3 days. Although it is extremely rare with bone scanning agents, a person may develop rash, swelling, or anaphylaxis (severe allergic response).

There is a slight risk of infection or bleeding with any intravenous injection.

For additional information or if you are unable to keep your appointment, please call 706.774.3183.

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We hope your experience with us is an excellent one.