This is a test which can reveal many and varied bone and joint diseases. The test involves an injection into a vein of a small amount of a radioactive compound which binds to the calcium and phosphate in your bones.

A specialised camera is then used to take pictures of your skeleton.

How to Prepare?

Please remember to bring your requesting letter and any recent X-rays or CT scans.  At the time of your appointment, report to North Shore Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, which is located on the ground floor of  North Shore Private Hospital in Westbourne St.

Take all of your usual medications.

There is no need to fast for any part of the bone scan.

What to Expect?

During the first part of the test (which takes about 10-15 minutes), you will be given an injection into a vein (usually near the elbow).  Depending on the reason for the scan, you may have pictures taken straight after the

injection. You will then be asked to return 1.5 - 3 hours later for the second part of the scan.  The scan itself takes about 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the extent and type of bone scan required.  (The technologist will

give you an indication of the likely time your  scan may take on the day).

You are free to leave the hospital between the first and second part of the scan. You may eat and drink as you wish.

There are no side effects or reactions with the injection. The injection does NOT contain iodine and is therefore safe to give if you have had a previous allergic reaction to contrast injections. Although you will be required to keep still during the scan, the procedure itself is completely painless. There is no need to hold your breath during the test.

The test is usually not performed in pregnant women, so if you know that you are (or think you might be) pregnant, please inform us before the test begins.


You can drive home after the scan.  You will not be drowsy in any way.  

Some tests require computer processing and therefore we will send the results directly to your doctor. However, often you will be able to take the scan with you. In such cases, there may be a delay of approximately 2 hours while the report is typed.

Additional Information