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Bone Ablation: Caring for your child at home after the procedure

Your child just had a bone ablation. This brochure explains how to care for your child at home after the procedure, and when to call for help.​

When to see a doctor

Phone your specialist or Image Guided Therapy (IGT), or go to the nearest Emergency Department right away if your child has any of the following:

  • fever greater than 38°C (100.4°F)
  • severe pain
  • throwing up (vomiting) that does not stop
  • significant swelling around the ablation site
  • bleeding around the ablation site
  • redness or oozing around the ablation site
  • change in the colour or temperature of the foot or hand on the side of the body where the ablation was done; for example, if the foot or hand turns a pale blue or is cool to touch
  • change in sensation/strength of the limb ablated

Dressing care

Your child will have a dressing or bandage over the site of the ablation. Take the dressing off after 24 hours if the site has scabbed underneath.

If the dressing gets wet or dirty, please take it off and replace it with a clean Band-Aid®. Your child may also have a bruise at the ablation site, which can take up to 10 days to go away.


Your child may shower or take a bath the day after the procedure. Please try to keep the treatment site dry until it has scabbed and healed.


If your child is feeling well enough after the anaesthetic, they can return to eating what they normally eat. It is also important to encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids for 48 hours after the procedure.

Pain relief

If needed, give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for pain. Do not give your child any medicines that will thin the blood, such as ASA (Aspirin®) or ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®), without checking with a nurse or your child's doctor first.


Your child can resume gentle activities one day after the ablation. This can include walking to school. If it hurts too much to do this on the first day, have a rest day and try again the following day.

Your child may need to use crutches if your doctor thinks it is necessary. You can ask your doctor after the procedure if they are needed and for how long.

Your child should avoid playing contact sports and high-impact activities for about six weeks. These include:

  • contact sports
  • gymnastics
  • diving/swimming
  • bicycle riding
  • rollerblading
  • hockey
  • soccer
  • skiing
  • horseback riding


  • Your child's procedure required the use of X-rays.
  • Radiation side-effects are extremely unlikely, but can occur.
  • Please check your child's skin in the area of the procedure for signs of redness or rash 2-4 weeks from today. Please call (416) 813-6054 and ask to speak to an IGT clinic nurse if this occurs.

Key points

  • Your child can have a bath or shower the day after the procedure.
  • You can give your child acetaminophen​ (Tylenol®) or any other prescribed medicines for pain.
  • Leave the dressing on until the skin has scabbed and healed. If the dressing gets wet, put on a clean Band-Aid® instead.
  • Your child should avoid major activity for 6 weeks.

Joao Amaral, MD

Candice Sockett, RN(EC), MN:APN

Michael Temple, MD, FRCPC


At SickKids:

If you have any concerns in the first 48 hours, call the IGT clinic during working hours at (416) 813-6054 and ask to speak to an IGT nurse. If you have concerns and it is after working hours, see your family doctor or go to the nearest Emergency Department or call the Hospital for Sick Children switchboard at (416) 813-1500 and ask them to page your specialist or the interventional radiologist on call.