A bone scan identifies changes or problem areas in the bones of your body. The bone scan is a reliable and painless test in which images of all the bones in your body are taken by using a small amount of radioactive material and special scanning equipment. The bone scan is often done as part of a check-up to be sure that the bones are free of cancer and to determine the effects of cancer treatment.
The total amount of radiation that you are exposed to during the bone scan is very low.
A medication that contains a small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein in your arm. After about 2 to 3 hours, the bone cells have collected the medication from the circulating blood.
Radiation rays from the medication make an image on photographic film. A nuclear medicine doctor studies this picture and notes any changes or problem areas in the bones. A report is then sent to your physician.
The Day of Your Scan
After the Scan
There are no side effects from the bone scan. You can resume normal activities. The radioactive material presents no immediate danger to you or to the people around you, and no special precautions are needed.
Within six hours after the injection, more than ½ of the radioactivity is either expended or eliminated from your body. After 48 hours, the radioactivity is completely gone.