What is Olecranon Bursitis?

By admin
May 7, 2014

A bursa is a sac composed of thin, slippery tissues. The olecranon bursa is located between the pointed bone at the back of the elbow and overlying skin, and it enables the elbow to bend comfortably under the skin. Olecranon bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes irritated.

Let's take some time now to answer common questions about this condition.

  1. What causes olecranon bursitis? This condition can occur due to a number of different factors, although it usually results from falling directly onto the elbow, an infection, or from continuously placing pressure on the elbow. Certain medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and gout, are also commonly associated with this condition.
  2. What are some common symptoms of this condition? Common symptoms include pain, swelling, and limited motion of the elbow joint.  In addition, patients may also experience fever, chills, and persistent sweating.
  3. How is this condition diagnosed? After your doctor has evaluated your symptoms and medical history, he or she will examine both your elbow and arm. First, an x-ray will be performed on your arm so that your doctor can identify any abnormalities, such as bone spurs. Bone spurs occur in patients who have repeatedly experienced olecranon bursitis, and are usually located on the tip of an elbow bone. The doctor may also choose to take a small sample of bursa fluid with a needle to diagnose whether the bursitis has been caused by infection or gout.
  4. How will this condition be treated? The treatment method for olecranon bursitis will depend on the particular case, and the severity of the condition. Common nonsurgical treatment methods will likely include applying ice to the area, rest, or taking antibiotics. When conservative treatment methods are no longer effective, surgery may be necessary. Surgery removes the bursa, while preserving healthy surrounding tissue.
  5. How long will it take to recover from surgery? Following surgery, most patients will see healed skin within 10 to 14 days. After several weeks, the use of your elbow should be completely restored. Physical therapy is not usually necessary, though some patients may also benefit from that as well.

Olecranon Bursitis Treatment in Napa and Vacaville

To learn more about treating olecranon bursitis, contact us today.  You can reach us directly at 707.258.2547 in Napa or 707.446.6206 in Vacaville.  We look forward to meeting you!

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