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Olecranon Bursitis

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What Is Olecranon Bursitis?

Physicians classify Olecranon bursitis as a condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the bursa located at the tip of the elbow, known as the olecranon bursa. The bursa, filled with fluid, acts as a cushion between the skin and the underlying bony prominence of the elbow.

Indication of Olecranon Bursitis 

The primary symptom of this condition is a visible and palpable swelling at the back of the elbow. While typically painless, the swelling may cause discomfort or tenderness under pressure. In certain instances, infection of the bursa can occur, accompanied by redness, warmth, heightened pain, and fever.

Olecranon bursitis can stem from various causes. It may arise due to repetitive friction or pressure on the elbow, such as leaning on hard surfaces, or from direct trauma to the area. Other potential causes encompass infection, inflammatory conditions like gout or rheumatoid arthritis, and specific medical procedures.

Treatment Options

Treating olecranon bursitis relies on determining the underlying cause and assessing symptom severity. Non-surgical options may include resting, avoiding activities that worsen symptoms, applying ice packs, using compression bandages or elbow pads, and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to alleviate inflammation and pain.

If an infection is the culprit, healthcare providers may prescribe antibiotics. In some cases, draining the bursa fluid through needle aspiration may be necessary. While surgical intervention is rare, it may be considered for persistent or recurrent cases.

Recovery duration from olecranon bursitis varies among individuals and depends on the underlying cause. Typically, with proper treatment and management, swelling and symptoms subside within weeks to months. Implementing preventive measures, such as minimizing repetitive pressure on the elbow and using protective padding, can help prevent recurrence.

Seeking consultation from a healthcare professional is crucial for receiving an accurate diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan for olecranon bursitis.



If you would like to speak to an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Telemedicine appointments are also available.