Abstract Focal bone lesions are not uncommon findings in the daily practice of radiology. Therefore, it is essential to differentiate between lesions with aggressive, malignant potential that require action and those that have no clinical significance, many of which are variants or benign lesions, sometimes self-limited and related to reactive processes. In some cases, a diagnostic error can have catastrophic results. For example, a biopsy performed in a patient with myositis ossificans can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of sarcomatous lesions and consequently to mutilating surgical procedures. The present study reviews the main radiological aspects of the lesions that are most commonly seen in daily practice and have the potential to be confused with aggressive, malignant bone processes. We also illustrate these entities by presenting cases seen at our institution.