Assessing and investigating patients with a suspected bone tumour
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Assessing and investigating patients with a suspected bone tumour

Sonya Healy Advanced nurse practitioner, emergency department, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Republic of Ireland
Iomhar O’Sullivan Consultant in emergency medicine, emergency department, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Republic of Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To consider bone tumour as a differential diagnosis in patients with pain and/or swelling in a limb or joint

  • To enhance your knowledge of the most common types of benign and malignant bone tumours

  • To explore the distinguishing features of benign and malignant bone tumours on X-ray

Bone tumours can present a diagnostic challenge for healthcare professionals working in the emergency department (ED). They are often asymptomatic and therefore not detected until an injury, such as a fall or trauma, prompts the patient to present to the ED. Nurses working in the ED are likely to encounter patients with a bone tumour in the course of their professional life, so they need to have the knowledge and skills to adequately assess, manage and refer these patients. This article provides an overview of benign and malignant primary bone tumours, describes the assessment of their signs and symptoms, and explains the distinguishing features of benign and malignant bone tumours on X-ray. It also details the case of a patient who presented to the ED with a traumatic knee injury and was diagnosed with a benign bone tumour.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2021.e2100

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@sonya_healy

Correspondence

sonya.healy@hse.ie

Conflict of interest

None declared

Healy S, O’Sullivan I (2021) Assessing and investigating patients with a suspected bone tumour. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2021.e2100

Published online: 20 July 2021

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