Olecranon Bursitis: Diagnosis and Treatment

Olecranon Bursitis occurs when the olecranon bursa is inflamed. Olecranon bursae are located at two places near the olecranon process.

  • one is between the bone and the triceps muscle tendon
  • one is between the skin and triceps tendon

The latter one is more commonly inflamed.

cross section of elbow joint

Symptoms include

  • pain and swelling over the back of the elbow
  • movements are painful
  • pain and discomfort increases when the limb is placed on a table (as during writing or typing)
  • fever may be present

Causes are

  • injury (fall on the tip of the elbow)
  • infection
  • gout
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • osteoarthritis of the elbow

Treatment is by

  • rest to the elbow joint (by using a sling or splint)
  • anti-inflammatory medication
  • aspiration of fluid and steroid injection into the bursa (contraindicated in infection)
  • appropriate antibiotics in infection
  • surgery

During surgery the complete bursa is excised and the space is completely obliterated by sutures. Failure to do so can lead to recurrence of the bursitis.

I hope the information provided was helpful. If you have any query you can ask me at the contact me page.

This page was last updated on 11th February 2009.

Other causes of elbow pain...

Radial Head Fracture

Pulled Elbow

Olecranon Fracture

Tennis Elbow

Elbow Dislocation

Little League Elbow

Supracondylar Fracture

Lateral Condyle Fracture

Elbow Fracture

Elbow Joint Anatomy

Go back from Olecranon Bursitis to Elbow Pain


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