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Bone lesion biopsy

Bone biopsy; Biopsy - bone

 

A bone lesion biopsy is the removal of a piece of bone or bone marrow for examination.

How the Test is Performed

 

The test is done in the following way:

  • An x-ray, CT or MRI scan is likely used to guide the exact placement of the biopsy instrument.
  • The health care provider applies a numbing medicine (local anesthetic) to the area.
  • A small cut is then made in the skin.
  • A special drill needle is often used. This needle is gently inserted through the cut, then pushed and twisted into the bone.
  • Once the sample is obtained, the needle is twisted out.
  • Pressure is applied to the site. Once bleeding stops, stitches are applied, and covered with a bandage.
  • The sample is sent to a lab for examination.

Bone biopsy may also be done under general anesthesia to remove a larger sample. Then surgery to remove the bone can be done if the biopsy exam shows that there is an abnormal growth or cancer.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

Follow your provider's instructions on how to prepare. This may include not eating and drinking for several hours before the procedure.

 

How the Test will Feel

 

With a needle biopsy, you may feel some 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

 

The most common reasons for bone lesion biopsy are to tell the difference between cancerous and noncancerous bone tumors and to identify other bone problems. 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

 

No abnormal bone tissue is found.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

An abnormal result may be any of the following problems.

Benign (noncancerous) bone tumors, such as:

  • Bone cyst
  • Fibroma
  • Osteoblastoma
  • Osteoid osteoma

Cancerous tumors, such as:

  • Ewing sarcoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Other types of cancer that may have spread to the bone

Abnormal results may also be due to:

  • Osteitis fibrosa (weak and deformed bone)
  • Osteomalacia (softening of the bones)
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)

 

Risks

 

Risks of this procedure may include:

  • Bone fracture
  • Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
  • Damage to surrounding tissue
  • Discomfort
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection near the biopsy area

A serious risk of this procedure is bone infection. Signs include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Pain with movement
  • Redness and swelling of around the biopsy site
  • Drainage of pus from the biopsy site

If you have any of these signs, call your provider right away.

People with bone disorders who also have blood clotting disorders may have an increased risk of bleeding.

 

 

References

Chen YH, Carrino JA, Fayad LM. Image-guided percutaneous biopsy of musculoskeletal lesions. In: Mauro MA, Murphy KPJ, Thomson KR, Venbrux AC, Morgan RA, eds. Image-Guided Interventions. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 157.

Reisinger C, Mallinson PI, Chou H, Munk PL, Ouellette HA. Interventional radiologic techniques in management of bone tumors. In: Heymann D, ed. Bone Cancer. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2015:chap 44.

 
  • Bone biopsy

    Bone biopsy - illustration

    A bone biopsy is performed by making a small incision into the skin. A biopsy needle retrieves a sample of bone and it is sent for examination. The most common reasons for bone lesion biopsy are to distinguish between benign and malignant bone tumors, and to identify other bone abnormalities. Bone biopsy may also be performed to determine the cause of bone pain and tenderness.

    Bone biopsy

    illustration

    • Bone biopsy

      Bone biopsy - illustration

      A bone biopsy is performed by making a small incision into the skin. A biopsy needle retrieves a sample of bone and it is sent for examination. The most common reasons for bone lesion biopsy are to distinguish between benign and malignant bone tumors, and to identify other bone abnormalities. Bone biopsy may also be performed to determine the cause of bone pain and tenderness.

      Bone biopsy

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Bone lesion biopsy

         

         

        Review Date: 9/22/2016

        Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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