The feasibility of combined magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and surface coil phosphorus-31 MR spectroscopy at 1.5 T was examined in a clinical study of 34 patients before biopsy of bone or soft-tissue lesions of the extremity and trunk. The results confirmed the inability of MR imaging alone to distinguish most benign lesions from malignant ones. Malignant lesions were distinguished from benign lesions on the basis of significantly higher mean peak ratios of phosphomonoester (PME) to β-nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) and of phosphodiester to NTP, a significantly lower mean peak area ratio of phosphocreatine to NTP, and a higher mean pH. The diagnostic performance of the PME/NTP peak area ratio is characterized by a sensitivity (true-positive fraction) of 1.00 and a specificity (true-negative fraction) of 0.93. This study provided preliminary evidence that P-31 MR spectroscopy may be used to improve diagnostic specificity in bone and soft-tissue lesions.