Spine Biopsy

What is a spine biopsy and how is it performed?

A bone biopsy is a test in which a small sample of bone is removed from the body and examined under a microscope for cancer, infection, or other bone disorders. The procedure is done with the patient lying on his or her abdomen. Using fluoroscopy via CT scan, the sample of bone is removed by inserting a needle through the skin and directly into the bone. A numbing medication (local anesthetic) is used to prevent pain during this procedure. Intravenous (IV) pain and sedative medication also may be given.

Following the procedure the patient is taken to a recovery area for approximately one hour then discharged home to rest. Complications can include pain, bleeding, and infection.

Before the Procedure:

Prior to scheduling the procedure, we will need to evaluate an MRI, bone scan, or CT scan of your spine showing the area in which the biopsy is necessary. Once scheduled for the procedure, you will be contacted by one of the spine nurses. You will be asked to provide information regarding your current problem, past medical history, and medications. She will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for the upcoming procedure. You will be asked to hold any NSAIDS, Aspirin, or blood thinners such as Coumadin. Any insurance questions can be answered by your referring physician.

The Day of the Procedure:

Prior to arrival we ask that you refrain from eating or drinking after midnight the night before. You will need someone to drive you home. Patients without a driver will be rescheduled for another day.

How soon can I return to my normal activities following a spine biopsy?

You can return to your normal activities 24 hours after the procedure.