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Olecranon Bursitis

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What Is Olecranon Bursitis?

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

Indication of Olecranon Bursitis 

The main symptom of olecranon bursitis is a visible and palpable swelling at the back of the elbow. The swelling is typically painless, but it can cause discomfort or tenderness if pressure is applied. In some cases, the bursa may become infected, leading to redness, warmth, increased pain, and fever.

The causes of olecranon bursitis can vary. It can result from repetitive friction or pressure on the elbow, such as leaning on hard surfaces, or from direct trauma to the area. Other potential causes include infection, inflammatory conditions like gout or rheumatoid arthritis, and certain medical procedures.

Treatment for Olecranon Bursitis 

Treatment for olecranon bursitis depends on the underlying cause and the severity of symptoms. Non-surgical options may include resting and avoiding activities that worsen the symptoms, applying ice packs, using compression bandages or elbow pads, and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation and pain.

If the bursitis is caused by infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. In some cases, the fluid in the bursa may need to be drained through a needle aspiration procedure. Surgical intervention is rare but may be considered in persistent or recurrent cases.

Recovery from olecranon bursitis depends on the individual and the underlying cause. With appropriate treatment and management, the swelling and symptoms usually improve within a few weeks to a few months. Preventive measures, such as avoiding repetitive pressure on the elbow and using protective padding, can help reduce the risk of recurrence.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate 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.