A nuclear medicine bone scan shows the effects of injury or disease (such as cancer) or infection on the bones. A nuclear medicine bone scan also shows whether there has been any improvement or deterioration in a bone abnormality after treatment.
A radioactive material (radiopharmaceutical) is injected into a vein, attaches to the bones and is detected by a special camera (gamma camera) that takes images or pictures that show how the bones are working. Bone scans image both the structure and the active cell growth of the bones, so are often used in conjunction with other imaging e.g. X-rays, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
If you’ve never had a Nuclear Bone Scan you might not know what to expect and this brief guide is designed to answer the questions that might be in your mind.