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

Your child has had a bone biopsy. This brochure explains how to look after your child at home after the procedure, and when to call for help.

When to see a doctor

Call your child's doctor or go to the nearest Emergency Department right away if your child has any of the following during the first 48 hours:

  • fever greater than 38°C (100.4°F)
  • Significant swelling around the biopsy site
  • bleeding or discharge around the biopsy site
  • severe pain​ at the biopsy site
  • change in the colour or temperature of the foot or hand on the side of the body where the biopsy 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 biopsied


Your child may have stitches in the skin at the biopsy site. If you can see stitches in your child's skin, call IGT at (416) 813-6054 and ask to speak to a clinic nurse to see if your child's stitches will need to be removed or if they will dissolve on their own.

Dressing care

Your child will have a dressing or bandage over the site of the biopsy. 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 biopsy site, which can take up to 10 days to go away.


Your child may shower or take a bath one day after the biopsy, but try to keep the biopsy 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.


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 biopsy. 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, such as:

  • 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.


Your referring doctor will receive the results of your child's biopsy. You will need to make a follow-up appointment with them to discuss the results.

Key points

  • A day or two after the bone biopsy, your child should be back to their normal self.
  • If your child has any pain, you can give them acetaminophen (Tylenol®).
  • Your child will need to avoid contact sports and high-impact activities for 6 weeks.  

​Joao Amaral, MD

Candice Sockett, RN(EC), MN:APN


​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.