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.
Review Date 7/25/2020
Updated 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, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.