Medical Definition of Elbow bursitis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Elbow bursitis: A common form of bursitis that is also known as olecranon bursitis. At the tip of the elbow (olecranon area) is the olecranon bursa, a fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction during motion. Because of its location, the olecranon bursa is subject to trauma, ranging from simple repetitive weight-bearing while leaning to banging in a fall. Such trauma can cause elbow bursitis in the area overlying the point of the elbow. If elbow bursitis is not caused by infection, treatment includes rest and the use of ice and medications for inflammation and pain. Infectious bursitis is treated with antibiotics, aspiration, and surgery.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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