[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Sept 30, 1968

Polley-Bickel Needle Broken During Biopsy

JAMA. 1968;206(1):133-134. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150010081029

To the Editor:—  The complications of closed synovial biopsy are infrequent and consist primarily of pain, hemorrhage, and possibly infection. The unusual circumstance of a Polley-Bickel biopsy needle breaking during the biopsy procedure is hereby reported.

Report of a Case:—  A 43-year-old white man had rheumatoid arthritis of ten years' duration. The arthritis began with pain and swelling in the right big toe, and within the next two to three years, most peripheral joints had become painful and swollen. These included the right ankle, both knees, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and most finger joints. Treatment had included steroids intra-articularly injected into the knees, aspirin, and various other orally administered medications.Examination revealed a moderate degree of synovitis in both knees, the right ankle, and in several proximal interphalangeal joints and metacarpol phalangeal joints of both hands. Extension and flexion in the left knee were limited to 15°. The right knee joint