Bone Scan

A bone scan requires the injection of a radioactive tracer. Bones attempting to repair due to damage or disease demonstrate an increased absorption of this tracer.

Image Modality Nuclear3

Bone scanning can assess and diagnose a range of bone pathologies, including but not limited to the following:

  • Neck, back and joint pain
  • Fractures
  • Bone cancer
  • Paget's disease
  • Bone and prosthesis infections


  • A major advantage of having a bone scan is that in most cases the whole body is imaged. This is a significant advantage over other imaging techniques that may only concentrate on the area in question.

  • Fasting is not required. For optimal scan quality, we recommend that you drink a minimum of 500ml of water prior to your appointment. Empty your bladder as required.

    If there is any chance you may be pregnant or you are breastfeeding, please contact us directly for specific instructions.

  • A bone scan is a two-stage process.

    • Stage 1 - Injection (5-15mins): You will receive an injection of tracer. This is into the middle of the arm as with a blood test. Pictures maybe performed at this stage, this will be determined by the reason that you are having the scan. There are no known side effects to the tracer injection.
    • Your nuclear medicine technologist will provide you with a return time for your scan. Usually this is 2-4 hours after the injection of the tracer.
    • During this break, you will be requested to drink at least 1 litre of fluid and go to the toilet as much as possible. This increases the quality of the scan and reduces your radiation exposure.
    • Stage 2 - Scanning (15-45mins): How long the scan takes depends on the reason for your bone scan.

    The amount of radiation injected for the scan is extremely small with a large amount having left the body by 4 hours and almost completely by 24 hours.

  • Queensland X-Ray has the latest nuclear medicine equipment, with SPECT/CT available across all departments.

    One of our nuclear medicine technologists will perform your bone scan under the supervision of one of our nuclear medicine specialists.

    The images the technologist acquires are reviewed by a specialist who reports on the findings. The report will be sent to your referring doctor, who will explain the findings to you. Technologist(s) performing the scan do not discuss scan results with you.

How much will it cost?

Fees for radiology procedures will vary depending on a variety of factors. We will advise you about the cost of your service at the time of booking but if you do have any questions, contact us and one of our team will be happy to help with your query. You can read more about our billing information here.

How do I access my images?

At Queensland X-Ray, we provide our patients with their images and results online. To access your images and results, you’ll need to register for an account when you visit one of our practices. If you’ve already registered, you can access the Patient Portal here.

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