Bursae are fluid-filled sacs in the joints that act as cushions and allow tendons, ligaments, and muscles to glide over bones in the joint. Elbow bursitis occurs when the bursa at the olecranon (bone tip) of the elbow becomes inflamed.
The orthopedic specialists at Dignity Health North State offer the latest diagnosis and treatment options for common elbow conditions, such as elbow bursitis, in Northern California. If you would like to make an appointment for orthopedic care, Find a Doctor near you today.
Elbow Bursitis Symptoms
Elbow bursitis may come and go over time. Acute elbow bursitis involves sudden and often short-lived symptoms. Chronic elbow bursitis may last several weeks.
Signs and symptoms of elbow bursitis may include:
- Swelling that may cause a limited range of motion
Causes of Elbow Bursitis
Elbow bursitis is commonly caused by overuse injuries or repetitive motions. This type of injury is caused by pressure on the joint or repeating movements over and over again, such as throwing a baseball. Other causes of bursitis include:
- Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout
Attacks of acute elbow bursitis can cause the bursa to thicken, chalky deposits to develop, and the tissue to become fibrous. Multiple bouts of acute bursitis can lead to the development of chronic elbow bursitis.
Elbow Bursitis Treatment at Dignity Health North State
Your treatment plan at Dignity Health North State will be personalized to your needs based on your symptoms, risk factors, and medical history. Our goals are to relieve your symptoms and prevent future bursitis attacks and additional damage to the elbow.
Treatment for elbow bursitis may include:
- Resting the joint
- Taking anti-inflammatory medicines
- Corticosteroid injections
Physical therapy can also help strengthen the joint, speed recovery, and prevent future elbow bursitis attacks. Range-of-motion exercises are particularly helpful for managing chronic bursitis.
Antibiotics are used to treat infectious bursitis. In some cases, your doctor may also need to surgically drain the infected bursa. If an olecranon bursa needs to be surgically removed, the body will grow a new replacement bursa over time.
Your orthopedic team at Dignity Health will guide you through your options so you can choose the best treatment plan for you.
Dignity Health North State provides effective relief from the symptoms of elbow bursitis in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.