Skip to main content

Bone Scan

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about a bone scan?

This test checks for bone fractures or damage. It can help find disease, such as cancer that started in the bone or spread from another area. The test may help find the cause of pain if other tests did not show a medical problem. A bone scan may also be called bone scintigraphy.

How do I prepare for a bone scan?

What happens during a bone scan?

What happens after a bone scan?

What are the risks of a bone scan?

You will be exposed to radiation during the scan. The amount is low, but any radiation can damage cells. A bone scan includes the whole body. This means radiation will not be limited to the body area being checked. The scan may not show areas of bone damage or disease. It may show abnormal areas even when the bone is normal. You may need another scan if the pictures are not clear. This can happen if you move during the scan, or the pictures are taken too soon after the tracer is given. If you had a joint replaced, the parts can make areas of bone hard to see. Rarely, an allergic reaction to the tracer may happen.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2024 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.