Olecranon Bursitis Treatment Clinton MD
Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Group
Takoma Park, MD
Medical School: Georgetown
Graduation Year: 1954
Medical School: Georgetown Univ Sch Of Med, Washington Dc 20007
Graduation Year: 1981
National Orthopedics PC
Accepting New Patients: Yes
5.0, out of 5 based on 2, reviews.
Medical School: Univ Of Cairo, Fac Of Med, Cairo, Egypt (330-02 Prior 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1969
A Patient's Guide to Olecranon Bursitis
Olecranon bursitis is inflammation of a small sac of fluid located on the tip of the elbow. This inflammation can cause many problems in the elbow.
This guide will help you understand
Where is the olecranon bursa, and what does it do?
A bursa is a sac made of thin, slippery tissue. Bursae occur in the body wherever skin, muscles, or tendons need to slide over bone. Bursae are lubricated with a small amount of fluid inside that helps reduce friction from the sliding parts.
The olecranon bursa is located between the tip, or point, of the elbow (called the olecranon) and the overlying skin. This bursa allows the elbow to bend and straighten freely underneath the skin.
Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Elbow Anatomy
How does olecranon bursitis develop?
Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa. The olecranon bursa can become irritated and inflamed in a number of ways.
In some cases, a direct blow or a fall onto the elbow can damage the bursa. This usually causes bleeding into the bursa sac, because the blood vessels in the tissues that make up the bursa are damaged and torn. In the skin this would simply form a bruise, but in a bursa blood may actually fill the bursa sac. This causes the bursa to swell up like a rubber balloon filled with water.
The blood in the bursa is thought to cause an inflammatory reaction. The walls of the bursa may thicken and remain thickened and tender even after the blood has been absorbed by the body. This thickening and swelling of the bursa is referred to as olecranon bursitis.
Olecranon bursitis can also occur over a longer period of time. People who constantly put their elbows on a hard surface as part of their activities or job can repeatedly injure the bursa. This repeated injury can lead to irritation and thickening of the bursa over time. The chronic irritation leads to the same condition in the end: olecranon bursitis.
The olecranon bursa can also become infected. This may occur without any warning, or it may be caused by a small injury and infection of the skin over the bursa that spreads down into the bursa. In this case, instead of blood or inflammatory fluid in the bursa, it becomes filled with pus. The area around the bursa becomes hot, red, and very tender.
What does olecranon bursitis feel like?
Olecranon bursitis causes pain and swelling in the area at the tip of the elbow. It may be very difficult to put the elbow down on a surface due to the tenderness. If the condition has been present for some time, small lumps may be felt underneath the skin over the olecranon. Sometimes these lumps feel as though something is floating around in the olecranon bursa, and they can be very tender. These lumps are usually the thickened folds of bursa tissue that ...