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Bone biopsy

During a bone biopsy (bone drilling), a small sample of bone is removed for further research. A bone biopsy is performed for two reasons: to establish a diagnosis or to check whether a specific treatment has been successful.


Patients who undergo bone biopsies are always administered anesthesia. This means that your child will be brought into a deep sleep and will not be awake for the biopsy. You'll receive more information about the anesthesia and the rest of the preparations from the doctor or the nursing specialist.

Your child might be afraid of the bone biopsy or the anesthesia. It's a good idea, naturally, to notify the doctor or nursing specialist about this before the bone biopsy is performed. Frequently, asking questions about the biopsy or anesthesia will help your child to relax. The pedagogical staff can also support you and your child during the examination.

The examination/the treatment

For a bone biopsy, a hollow needle is drilled into the hip bone. Using a gentle pushing and turning movement, a small core of bone tissue is removed from the bone. The piece of bone is about 0.5-1 centimeters long and a few millimeters in diameter. A bone biopsy is performed on both hips. This means that your child will receive a bandage on both sides after the procedure. In most cases, a bone biopsy will be combined with an epidural (bone marrow extraction). The doctor or the nursing specialist will perform the bone biopsy. The examination lasts for approximately 20 minutes in total.


After the bone biopsy, your child might feel very sore (black & blue) at the puncture sites. Often, paracetamol is enough to adequately reduce the pain. The bandages may be removed from the hips a day after the procedure. Normally, your child will no longer be bothered by his/her hips one day after the examination and can once more perform everyday activities without any issues. The wounds are nearly always closed after a day, which is why your child can shower and bathe again from that moment on.

The results are generally ready a week after the examination.


You can ask the pediatrician or nursing specialist any questions you may have about the bone biopsy.