A bone biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of bone is taken
from the body and looked at under a microscope for cancer, infection, or other
bone disorders. The sample of bone can be removed by:
A bone biopsy can be taken from any bone in the body. It is
easiest to get the biopsy samples from bones that are close to the skin surface
and away from any internal organs or large blood vessels.
biopsy is often done on bone areas that show problems on an
X-ray. Computed tomography (CT scan) or a
bone scan may be used to guide the biopsy
Why It Is Done
bone biopsy is done to:
- Confirm the diagnosis of a bone disorder (such
Paget's disease, a disease that may look like bone
cancer, or bone cancer) that was found by another test, such as an X-ray, CT
scan, bone scan, or a
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
- Tell the difference between a noncancerous (benign)
bone mass, such as a bone cyst, and bone cancer, such as
- See what is causing a
bone infection (osteomyelitis) or if an infection is
- Find the cause of ongoing bone pain.
bone problems seen on an X-ray.
An open bone biopsy allows your doctor to do surgical
treatment at the same time, if needed.
How To Prepare
Before having a bone biopsy, tell your
doctor if you:
- Are taking any medicines. If you take medicines every day, ask
your doctor whether you should stop taking these medicines before the
- Are allergic to any medicines, such as those used to numb the
- Have had bleeding problems
or take blood thinners, such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or warfarin (Coumadin).
or might be pregnant.
- Take any herbal remedies. Some of these
remedies may thin the blood.