What are treatments for shoulder bursitis?
Sometimes shoulder bursitis requires aspiration of the bursa fluid. This procedure involves removal of the fluid with a needle and syringe under sterile conditions and can be performed in the doctor's office. Often the fluid is sent to the laboratory for further analysis. Noninfectious shoulder bursitis can also be treated with an injection of cortisone medication into the swollen bursa. This is typically done at the same time as the aspiration procedure. Physical therapy can be used to aid the recovery from bursitis, especially when it is accompanied by a frozen shoulder.
Infectious (septic) bursitis, which is uncommon in the shoulder, requires even further evaluation and aggressive treatment. The bursal fluid can be examined in the laboratory to identify the microbes causing the infection. Septic bursitis requires antibiotic therapy, sometimes intravenously. Repeated aspiration of the inflamed fluid may be required. Surgical drainage and removal of the infected bursa sac (bursectomy) may also be necessary. Generally, the adjacent joint functions normally after the surgical wound heals.
Are there home remedies for shoulder bursitis?
Bursitis is initially treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
What is the prognosis for shoulder bursitis?
The outlook for shoulder bursitis is generally excellent for a full recovery with shoulder bursitis. If the bursitis is accompanied by scarring around the shoulder joint (adhesive capsulitis or "frozen shoulder"), it can require long-term physical therapy.
Is it possible to prevent shoulder bursitis?
By avoiding overuse of the shoulder by excessive straining the shoulder and gradual exercise training, shoulder bursitis can be prevented.
What health care specialties treat shoulder bursitis?
Specialists that treat shoulder bursitis include general medicine physicians, including general practitioners, family medicine doctors, and internists, as well as orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, and sports medicine specialists. Often physical therapists and rehabilitation physicians are involved in the care of shoulder bursitis.
Medically Reviewed on 7/18/2018
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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