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Alternative Names Return to topBone biopsy; Biopsy - bone
Definition Return to top
A bone lesion biopsy is the removal of a piece of bone or bone marrow for examination.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
The health care provider applies a numbing medicine (local anesthetic) to the area, and makes a small (about 1/8 inch) cut in the skin. A special drill needle is usually used. The biopsy needle is pushed and twisted into the bone.
Once the sample is obtained, the needle is twisted out and the sample is sent for examination. Pressure is applied to the site. Once bleeding stops, the site is cleaned and covered with a bandage.
Bone biopsy may also be done under general anesthesia to remove a larger sample. This may allow for immediate surgery to remove the bone if the exam shows that it is cancerous.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
You may be told not to drink or eat anything for several hours before the biopsy.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
With a needle biopsy, you may feel moderate discomfort and pressure, even though a local anesthetic is used. You must remain still during the procedure.
After the biopsy, the area may be sore or tender for several days.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
The most common reasons for bone lesion biopsy are to tell the difference between cancerous and non-cancerous bone tumors and to identify other bone problem. It may be performed on people with bone pain and tenderness, particularly if x-ray, CT scan, or other testing reveals a problem.
Normal Results Return to top
Normal bone appears as two types: compact and cancellous.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Benign bone tumors include:
Cancerous tumors include:
Abnormal results may also be due to:
Risks Return to top
Note: Some people with bone disorders also have blood clotting disorders, which can increase the risk for bleeding.
Considerations Return to top
Signs of bone infection (one of the most serious risks) include fever, headache, pain with movement, redness and swelling of the tissues around the biopsy site, and drainage of pus from the biopsy site. If these occur, seek immediate medical attention.Update Date: 7/29/2008 Updated by: Thomas N. Joseph, MD, Private Practice specializing in Orthopaedics, subspecialty Foot and Ankle, Camden Bone & Joint, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.