Whole Body Bone Scan and Spec

A bone scan can be used to look at the functioning of the patient’s bones and, unlike an X-ray, examines the metabolism of the patient’s bones, which may indicate disease:

  • No preparation for the scan is required. Patient to please bring along any previous x-rays and bone scans.
  • The patient will be injected with a radioactive tracer (99m Technetium MDP), which goes to your skeleton. Some images may be taken right after the injection, particularly the study is looking for an infection, inflammation or fracture. 
  • The patient will be asked to return to Nuclear Med approximately 2-5 hours later, depending on the area of interest (the smaller the bone structures the longer the waiting period). This wait enables the tracer to be adequately taken up by the skeleton. The patient may leave the department in this time and there are no restrictions on what they can do (eg. eat, drink), the patient will be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids and void their bladder before the next scan. 
  • When the patient returns, images will be taken using a gamma camera and these images plus a written report will be sent to the referring doctor.

Used to diagnose:

Suspected fractures Arthritis Infection Tumours Paget's Disease Staging of cancer The cause of bone pain

Symptom or Suspected Disease

Occult bone trauma Osteomyelitis Arthritic changes & extent Localise sites for biopsy of tumours Measure extent of tumours Identify bone pathology Cell disease Metastatic site identification Suspected fracture Infection Paget's disease Bone pain

How to book

Patients will need to be referred to Nuclear Med by a referring doctor. Patients must select the specific scan/study required by their referring doctor and book an appointment at the most convenient location.


  • Medical aid authorisation (referring doctor to provide patient with specific ICD 10 code for medical aid authorisation)
  • Referring doctor’s name and practice number
  • Newly diagnosed oncology patients may need to register for oncology (referring doctor to facilitate registration)