What is a Bone Scan?

A bone scan is an imaging test. It safely uses a very small amount of radioactive dye to help diagnose problems with your bones. Specifically, this test is done to reveal problems with bone metabolism. Bone metabolism refers to the process in which bones break down and rebuild themselves. New bone formation is part of the healing process when bones are injured or broken. The bone scan is a good way to view and document abnormal metabolic activity in the bones.

A bone scan can also be used to determine whether cancer has spread to the bones from another area of the body, such as the prostate or breast.

Who should get this test?

Bone scans may reveal bone problems associated with the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Avascular necrosis (when bone tissue dies due to a lack of blood supply)
  • Bone cancers
  • Cancer that has spread to the bone from other parts of the body
  • Fibrous dysplasia (a condition that causes abnormal scar-like tissue to grow in place of normal bone
  • Fractures
  • Infection involving the bone

Is there radiation involved?

Yes. Nuclear Medicine is an imaging test which involves a small amount of radiation to show pictures of the organs, tissues, and bones of the body.

When will I receive my results?

Once completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.

How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?

Please refer to the simple preparation guidelines or consult with your doctor or radiology center where you are being treated. Do not forget to bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.


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