Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Cubital Bursitis

Cubital Bursitis
Cubital Bursitis

Cubital Bursitis is an uncommon painful problem occurring on the front of the elbow around the antecubital fossa.  A bursa is a sac of tissue which may contain fluid or fat that aids in protection and lubrication of joints and tendons.  Bursitis is an inflammation of that sac.  The most common cause of cubital bursitis is repetitive mechanical trauma, such as occurs using exercise equipment.  Other inflammatory diseases such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with this problem.  The most common symptom is pain, swelling and loss of motion of the arm.  There is usually a swelling in the area of the antecubital fossa.  Diagnosis of cubital bursitis is made clinically by history and physical exam.  MRI and ultrasound of the area are useful to determine the size and extent of the problem as well as to exclude other causes of pain such as tumors.  Treatment begins with conservative measures such as heat, ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.  Injection into the bursa of a local anesthetic and a steroid may decrease pain and allow more effective physical therapy.  Continued pain and functional restriction in spite of treatment may require surgery to remove the inflamed bursa.

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