Isotope bone scan

What is a Bone Scan? 

Your bone is a living tissue. Bones continually remodel themselves to help repair any damage. Bone cells called ‘osteoblasts’ help in this remodelling. An isotope bone scan shows how quickly your ‘osteoblasts’ are working.

What is this scan used for?

Your doctor may request a bone scan for unexplained bone pain. Following is a list of few things that a bone scan can look for:

  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Bone Cancers
  • Metastasis
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Infection involving the bone

How can I prepare for this procedure?

  • Please eat normally and be well hydrated.
  • Between your injection and scan appointments please drink about one litre (6 cups) of any fluid.
  • Empty your bladder frequently, as this reduces the dose of radiation you receive and improves the quality of the scan.
  • You will not need to undress as long as there are no metal items on your clothing.
  • If there is any chance you could be pregnant or if you are breastfeeding, please inform the Department at least 24 hours before your appointment on 0161 495 7040.

What happens during the procedure?

  • There are two appointment times for this scan.
  • The first appointment lasts for 30 minutes and consists of an injection of the tracer into a vein in your arm or hand, which is like having a blood test. The second appointment, 3 hours later, lasts for a maximum of 75 minutes and it’s when the images are acquired.
  • You can leave the hospital and return between the two appointments.
  • You will be lying down for your scan, but you will not be totally enclosed.
  • You will be okay to drive after this scan.

Paying for your procedure

The costs of a bone scan are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the procedure will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the consultant radiologist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

Contact Information:

Nuclear Medicine Department

Phone: 0161 495 7040 / Fax: 0161495 6864.

What to do next

Speak to us today about how to get referred for this treatment. Meet with a consultant of your choice, with appointments usually available within 48 hours.

Call us free on:

0808 101 0337 0808 101 0337

Want to look at other treatments? or find it on the A-Z list.