Olecranon Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

by Administrator 18. November 2014 09:19

Olecranon Bursitis is a common medical condition with symptoms like inflammation and swelling in the Bursa. Bursa is a small fluid filled sac located at the outer portion of the elbow which provides a soft covering to the elbow and allows for smooth movements when straightening or bending the joint. Inflammation can cause the Bursa to produce more fluid and thus form a painful bubble at the tip of the elbow.

The condition is also known as ‘Water Elbow’, ‘Baker’s Elbow’ or Student Elbow’. At OrthoTexas, Plano, TX, we provide complete diagnosis and treatment to the patients suffering from Olecranon Bursitis.

Causes

  • Trauma: A direct or indirect blow to the elbow tip can cause the Bursa to swell and produce more fluid.
  • Prolonged pressure: Resting on the elbow tip for long hours on hard surfaces, like a tabletop, may also cause this condition. People with certain occupations, such as technicians or plumbers, are more at risk as they have to lean on their elbows for long periods.
  • Other medical conditions: People with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Gout are also more prone to develop Olecranon Bursitis.

Symptoms

  • Swelling at elbow tip
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Pain when the elbow comes in contact with anything
  • Restricted movement of the elbow
  • A bubble, which may or may not be red, protruding out of the elbow
  • Fever, in rare cases

Diagnosis

The orthopedic doctor will physically examine the symptoms and the medical history of the patient. He may also recommend certain imaging tests, such as X-rays, to rule out the possibility of any other problem.

Treatment

The orthopedic doctors at OrthoTexas prefer to treat Olecranon Bursitis using non-surgical techniques which may include:

  • Elbow Pads: This helps by providing a cushioning to support the elbow.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can also help to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Activity modification: Avoiding activities that puts strain on the elbow can also help relieve the symptoms.
  • Injections: If the symptoms do not begin to subside even after a few weeks, the orthopedic doctor may prescribe injecting steroid medications directly into the Bursa.

Surgery may be recommended in severe cases of Olecranon Bursitis. If the Bursa has been infected, the doctor may remove the Bursa to allow the formation of a new and normal one over time. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctors at OrthoTexas, Plano, you can call at (972) 985-1072

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