Anatomy of the Olecranon
The elbow contains a large, curved, boney prominence at the back called the olecranon. This prominence is covered by the olecranon bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that allows smooth movement between the bone and the overlying skin.
What is Elbow Bursitis?
Inflammation of the olecranon bursa leads to a condition called olecranon bursitis.
Causes of Elbow Bursitis
The causes of elbow bursitis may include trauma or a hard blow on the elbow, excessive leaning on the elbow, infection by puncture wounds or insect bites, or conditions such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis. People in certain occupations such as plumbing or air conditioning, which involve a lot of crawling on the elbows, are highly prone to this condition.
Symptoms of Elbow Bursitis
Swelling is the first sign of elbow bursitis. As more and more liquid fills into the bursa, the swelling increases and may cause pain. This pain is generally mild but can increase with direct pressure or bending of the elbow. If the bursa gets infected, your skin can become warm and red and may spread to other parts of the arm or even enter the bloodstream if not treated.
Diagnosis of Elbow Bursitis
Elbow bursitis can be diagnosed by reviewing your medical history and undergoing a thorough physical exam. Your doctor may also order an X-ray.
Treatment Options for Elbow Bursitis
If bursitis is caused due to an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Elbow bursitis not caused by infection can be treated by the following:
- Compressive wrap to help reduce the swelling
- Avoiding activities that place direct pressure on the swollen elbow
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling
- Use of an elbow pad to cushion the elbow
When these methods do not help, the bursa can be surgically removed.
Prevention of Elbow Bursitis
Protection of your elbow from excessive friction, pressure or repetitive trauma may prevent bursitis. This can include wearing elbow pads when you need to lean on your elbows while working.
- Triceps Injuries
- Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Capitellum
- Elbow Trauma
- Elbow Arthritis
- Bicep Tendon Tear at the Elbow
- Elbow Dislocation
- Triceps Tendonitis
- Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis
- Elbow Sprain
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfer's Elbow
- Little League Elbow
- Nursemaid's Elbow
- Elbow Pain
- Elbow Contracture
- Distal Humerus Fractures of the Elbow
- Radial Head Fractures of the Elbow
- Elbow Fractures
- Ulnar Nerve Neuropathy
- Loose Bodies in the Elbow
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome
- Lateral Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries (Elbow)
- Post-traumatic Stiffness (Elbow)
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Ulnar Nerve Entrapment)