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    What is Elbow Bursitis


    It’s common for your elbow joint to get red or swollen if you spend a lot of time leaning on them. However, if you experience a severe case of swelling and a lump forms, you may have elbow (olecranon) bursitis.

    The word “Olecranon” describes the pointy part of your elbow. Moreover, the word bursitis refers to inflammation (arthritis) of the bursa.

    A bursa is a fluid-filled sac. Bursa can occur throughout the body. They act as cushions between the muscles and tendons, where they would glide over the bones. 

    However, the bursa in the elbow is called the olecranon bursa. This sac reduces friction between the skin and the pointy part of your elbow. When feeling this bone, you don’t notice it as it lays flat. Nonetheless, when bothered the bursa can become swollen and large. 

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    What Causes Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis?

    There are a handful of reasons why you may be experiencing elbow (olecranon) bursitis, such as:

    1. Trauma. If you experience a hard blow to the elbow, such as hitting it or calling on top of it, this could cause the bursa to swell up.
    2. Pressure. When leaning your elbow over a hard surface for a prolonged time, it can aggravate the bursa.
    3. Conditions. If you have been diagnosed with other conditions, such as RA, Gout, or Kidney failure, you have a higher chance of getting elbow bursitis.
    4.  Infected Bursa. Sometimes a bursa may become infected due to a cut, scrape or insect bite. The sac will then fill up with additional fluid, swell and become red. 

    South Florida Hand Center has become the preferred orthopedic practice for the treatment of Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis in Broward and Palm Beach. Call us 24/7 at 888-409-8006 to schedule an appointment or use the button below.

    Symptoms of Elbow Bursitis

    When you have olecranon bursitis, the following symptoms will occur:

    • Swelling. Typically the first symptom people notice is swelling. At the back of the elbow, the skin may be loose. Therefore, you might not see it. Although as the swelling becomes more apparent, it can resemble a golfball.
    • Elbow Pain. When the bursa stretches this causes elbow pain, especially as you bend it. However, some people don’t feel pain at all.
    • Warmth or Redness. A sign of infection is warmth and redness. If you notice this around your elbow, the bursa is likely infected.
    • Tenderness. Often a sign of sensitivity around the elbow is tenderness.
    • Pus. When a bursa is infected, a yellow or white thick cloudy fluid will drain from the bursa.


    Treatment Options for Bursitis:

    Treatment is about easing your discomfort and taking steps to prevent or cure the infection.

    When no infection appears, you can take steps, such as:

    • Protecting your elbow. Try wearing elbow pads or a wrap to cushion it.
    • Avoid activities that put direct pressure on your affected elbow.
    • Take anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain. Follow your doctor’s directions and read the medicine label carefully.

    It’s important to take antibiotics that your doctor prescribes, especially if you have an infection.

    Also see, How to Treat Elbow Bursitis.

    If there are no improvements within a few weeks, your physician may suggest draining the fluid. Furthermore, an injection of corticosteroid is typical to recommended for inflammation. 

    If you are experiencing elbow (olecranon) bursitis and you need additional treatment options, call us at 888-409-8006.