Bone Marrow Biopsy

A bone marrow biopsy is used to study an actual piece of spongy bone marrow. It may be completed at the same time as a bone marrow aspirate. For this test, a needle is placed in a bone (usually the hipbone); a small piece of spongy bone marrow is removed and sent to the laboratory to be tested.

Your child may feel some pain when the needle is placed in the bone and may feel pressure or "tugging" when the needle removes a small piece of spongy bone marrow.

The patient commonly lies on his or her abdomen for this test. A nurse or technician will help position your child and support that position throughout the procedure.

  • Numbing medicines and sometimes sedation can minimize pain and anxiety.
  • Lying still can be stressful for children. Rehearsing the position before the test can help your child to feel in control and understand what he or she needs to do.
  • Helping your child understand what will happen will reduce anxiety.
  • If your child is awake, distraction or other coping techniques will sometimes assist the child in getting through the procedure.
  • Tylenol or codeine may be needed for a day or two after the procedure for pain.