When the bursa (fluid-filled sacs) in your elbow (or more specifically, the olecranon, or bony tip of the elbow) becomes irritated or inflamed, elbow bursitis may be diagnosed. Traumatic injury or prolonged pressure on the elbow are the most common causes. Activities often associated with elbow bursitis include any occupation or activity that requires you to crawl on your knees and lean on your elbows in tight places, and holding different positions, such as a plank, for longer periods of time.
Elbow bursitis may be present if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:
- Excessive swelling
- Pain and possible restricted movement
- Skin that’s red and warm to the touch
Nonsurgical treatment may include draining the fluid from the bursa, followed by an antibiotic. Your physician may also recommend the use of elbow pads, adjusting your activities to minimize pressure on your elbow and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain.
If the elbow bursitis does not improve from removing the fluid and/or antibiotics, outpatient surgery may be recommended.
As a patient of OrthoNebraska, your treatment plan for elbow bursitis will be developed collaboratively between you and your care team, while discussing the risks and benefits as they pertain to you individually.
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