Olecranon Bursitis

Olecranon bursitis is an inflammation of the olecranon bursa.  The bursitis can be cause by overuse, inflammation, infection, or trauma. It  frequently is caused by repetitive use of the elbow or  local irritation from rubbing the elbow on some surface.  The sports that olecranon bursitis is most frequently linked to are: football (artificial turf), hockey, wrestling,  and volleyball. 

The olecranon bursitis involves the superficial bursa between the skin and tendon.  Generally people with bursitis will have a painless distention of the olecranon bursa.  People with severe pain and redness around the elbow may have septic bursitis or gout and should be seen by their orthopaedic surgeon for further evaluation.  Infection in the elbow or olecranon bursa is a serious condition that requires treatment.  

If your orthopaedic surgeon determines that the bursitis is not related to infection it is typically treated with ice, compressive elbow sleeve (Heelbo Heel / Elbow Protector) to eliminate repeated trauma, and avoidance of repeated trauma to the olecranon. Aspiration for severe swelling is sometimes recommended.  Surgical excision is occasionally considered  for cases refractory to non-surgical management 

Other conditions that may be confused with olecranon bursitis include:

Further information about Olecranon Bursitis can be found at the following sites:

Please read this information carefully. Write down any questions that you have about your diagnosis and its treatment and discuss them with your surgeon. Working together you and your surgeon will determine the best treatment for you.

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