Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Olecranon Bursitis

Olecranon Bursitis
Olecranon Bursitis

Olecranon bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa at the elbow.  A bursa is a sac of lubricating fluid that cushions bony areas of the body.  Usually these bursa are flat, but can become swollen and tender when inflamed. The causes of olecranon bursitis include infection, trauma, repetitive motion injury, work related injury, gout and rheumatoid arthritis.  Initially the bursa will swell after injury and cause pain.  These bursa can become infected and appear red or warm to the touch.   Patients suffering from this problem will complain of pain around the elbow.   The pain of olecranon bursitis is felt particularly on extension of the arm.  X-rays are useful to exclude fractures.  MRI can be used to look for problems within the elbow joint.  Blood work is also used to exclude inflammatory causes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and collagen vascular disease.  Golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow can sometimes be confused with this problem.  Your doctor may draw fluid from within the bursa to look for inflection.  Initial treatment is conservative, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, heat, ice or physical therapy.  Injection into the bursa of a corticosteroid may reduce pain and swelling.  In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the bursa.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: