Need to Know
Nice to Know
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is This Exam Done?
Bone biopsies are typically performed after a mass or deformity is found on an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or other imaging procedure. Bone biopsies can also be used to distinguish between bone disease and a malignant tumor.
What Will Happen During the Exam?
For closed biopsies you will be prepped for the procedure by first having the area cleaned and shaved. Next you will be given a local anesthetic, and our experienced and caring physician will wait until the area is completely numb before proceeding. Once the area is numb the physician will place the needle into the innermost part of the bone. You may feel some pressure when the needle enters the bone. Once the sample is drawn it will be sent to a laboratory. The entire procedure should last approximately 15-30 minutes.
Open biopsies are performed when a bigger piece of bone is needed. For open biopsies you will be prepped for the procedure by first having the area cleansed and shaved. Next you will be given a general anesthetic, and our experienced and caring physician will wait until you are unconscious before proceeding. He or she will then make an incision and remove the piece of bone. They will send this to the lab and receive immediate results, so if anything further needs to be done they may do it immediately. The physician will stitch the area closed. The entire procedure should last approximately 45-60 minutes. You may be asked to spend the night once the procedure is performed
How Should I Prepare?
- You may be asked to change into a gown prior to the procedure
- Inform your physician of any medications you are currently taking
- Closed biopsies require you to be given a local anesthesia, so you may need to arrange to have someone drive you home
- Open biopsies will generally require you to fast for at least six hours prior to the procedure
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The benefits of Bone Biopsy:
- Bone biopsies can be necessary for an accurate diagnosis, so treatment can begin as necessary
- Recovery time is usually very quick. Closed biopsies are generally outpatient procedures and patients go home the same day.
- Open biopsies allow physicians the ability to perform additional surgical treatment during the same procedure
Risks you should be aware of:
- There is a very small risk that part of the needle may break during the biopsy. If this happens surgery may be required to remove the fractured piece.
- There is a nominal chance that you may experience a bone fracture, skin infection, or tissue damage in the surrounding area