Learn More About Bone Scans in Williamsport, PA
A bone scan is a nuclear medicine technique that creates images of bones on a computer screen or on film.
Bone scans are ordered for a variety of different reasons. A bone scan may help:
- Detect primary and metastatic bone tumors
- Follow up therapy of bone tumors
- Detect stress fractures or occult fractures
- Detect aseptic necrosis/osteonecrosis
- Detect infections early (osteomyelitis or septic arthritis)
- Evaluate ( hips, knees) devices to detect loosening or infection
- Detect metabolic disease such as Paget's disease and evaluation of its extent
- Evaluate spondylosis
- Evaluate bone pain, including low
- Evaluate reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
- Patient Preparation for a Bone Scan
There are no dietary restrictions. Patients can eat before being tested. Patients are urged to drink fluids between the time of injection and the time of scan. It is permissible to continue taking your medications. They will not interfere with the bone scan. If pain medication is prescribed, we encourage you to take the medication 30 minutes before the start of your bone scan. It is suggested to wear comfortable clothing. One of our technologists will have you remove any metal (belt, keys, coins), otherwise, you can wear your clothing for the scan.
Length of Procedure
Upon arrival you will be registered by our office staff. A certified nuclear medicine technologist will explain the procedure and administer the isotope by injection. Depending on the reason for the test, immediate images may be taken. After your injection you can leave but will be asked to return in three hours. You are free to do whatever you like, but we will encourage you to drink extra fluids. After three hours the bone scan is performed by a certified nuclear medicine technologist. If indicated, three-dimensional (SPECT) images may be performed. A typical bone scan procedure, including the injection and scan, is one and a half hours.
What Happens During a Bone Scan Procedure?
A certified nuclear medicine technologist will verify your identity. You will receive an injection of an isotope. If indicated we will scan immediately. All patients will return within three hours from injection and be scanned. Sometimes we take pictures of your whole body and other times we will limit to certain areas of the body. The technologist will explain at the time of your test. A bone scan consists of a patient lying on a padded table while pictures are obtained. A board certified nuclear medicine physician will interpret your scan. The results will be available to your physician within one working day.