Acute and Chronic Bursitis (cont.)

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Follow-up

After you leave the doctor's office, try to change whatever caused the bursitis in the first place. Wear different shoes. Use kneepads when kneeling for activities or work.

Rest the area and apply ice at least twice a day, keeping the area elevated when possible.

Schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor in one week. If your bursitis is infectious, a follow-up visit in three to four days is appropriate for reevaluation and possible fluid removal.

Bursitis Prevention

If a certain activity causes you to develop bursitis, then limit that activity or use protective measures. Use kneepads or cushioning for gardening and scrubbing floors. Workers such as plumbers, roofers, and carpet layers should wear knee protection. Choose more appropriate shoes or cushion the ankles with pads.

You can improve your flexibility and strengthen muscles involved in joint motion through rehabilitative exercise.

Be concerned about muscle tone if you have bursitis that tends to return. A physical rehabilitation program can guide you in the proper exercises to strengthen weak muscles.

Bursitis Prognosis

Most people respond to therapy in three to four days and can follow up with their doctor in a week. If the bursitis is infectious, however, the area may have to be drained with a needle every three to five days until the infectious fluid does not return.

Bursitis Pictures

Media file 1: Acute infectious bursitis (septic bursitis) of the elbow. Courtesy of Christopher Kabrhel, MD.
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Media file 2: Infectious bursitis (septic bursitis) of the elbow. Courtesy of Christopher Kabrhel, MD.
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Media file 3: Infectious bursitis. Note the swelling at the elbow and redness of the skin. Courtesy of Christopher Kabrhel, MD.
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REFERENCE:

Klippel, John H., et al., eds. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. 13th ed. New York: Springer and Arthritis Foundation, 2008.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/14/2014

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