How It Feels
Closed or needle biopsy
You may feel a brief pinch
or sting from the numbing medicine. You may feel pressure or a brief, sharp
pain as the needle enters the bone. You may also feel an aching pain or
pressure when the bone tissue sample is taken out. After the procedure, the
biopsy site may be sore and tender for up to a week. Your doctor will talk to
you about pain medicine.
You will be asleep or the area will be
numb so you will not feel any pain. After the biopsy, you may feel sleepy for
about 2 hours. The biopsy site may be sore and tender for up to a week. Your
doctor will talk to you about pain medicine.
After a bone biopsy
- If a closed biopsy is done, you may go
home shortly after the procedure. If you got a sedative, you may need to stay
longer and have someone drive you home.
- If an open biopsy is done,
you may need to stay in the hospital overnight. Arrange to have someone drive
you to and from the hospital or clinic.
- A bandage will be placed
over the biopsy site. You may be told to keep the biopsy site covered and dry
for 48 hours. A small amount of bleeding from the biopsy site is normal. Ask
your doctor how much drainage to expect.
Problems from a bone biopsy are rare. There is
a very small chance that the biopsy needle may break (fracture) the bone or
injure a nerve, blood vessel, or organ near the biopsy site. Surgery may be
needed to treat the problem.
There is a very small chance for a
skin infection or for the bone to become infected (osteomyelitis) or to not
heal well. In rare cases, the bone may become weak and break (fracture) at a
If you take aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin) or if you
have a bleeding disorder, you may have more chance for bleeding from the biopsy
site. Also, some tumors or bone conditions can cause more bleeding after a
biopsy. Your doctor will talk to you about getting clotting factors before this
biopsy to lower your chance of bleeding.
After the biopsy
Call your doctor immediately if
- A lot of bleeding on the
- Signs of infection. These signs may include:
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, or
warmth around the affected area.
- Red streaks spreading from the
- Drainage of pus from the area.
lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin.
- Fever or chills.
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. It may take several days to get
the results because the bone sample needs to be specially prepared for
The biopsy sample shows normal
Bone tissue may show signs of
infection, cancer, or another bone disorder (including
osteomyelitis, a bone cyst, or a noncancerous [benign] bone growth
osteoma). The bone tissue may also show
osteomalacia, which means the bones are
Most cancer of the bone
spreads (metastasizes) to the bone from another part of the body, such as the
prostate, or other organs. But bone cancer can also
start in the bone itself (such as osteosarcoma or Ewing's sarcoma).