radiological appearance of bone tumours

Last reviewed 01/2018

When looking at a radiograph of a possible bone tumour one should consider the following points:

  • is the lesion lytic or sclerotic ?

  • is the cortex intact, eroded or broken ?

  • is the cortex indented? If so, from outside or inside ?

  • is the medullary cavity wider than normal ?

  • is there a Codman's triangle ?

  • if the tumour is fusiform, is there an onion skin appearance ? suggests Ewing's tumour

  • is there any sunray calcification ? suggests an osteogenic sarcoma