Elbow Surgery

Olecranon Bursitis (Bursitis in Elbow)

Olecranon bursitis

Olecranon bursitis is a fluid filled sac between skin and elbow bone. The bone is normally flat and the sac can not be seen from outside. Inflammation of the sac is called bursitis which makes the sac prominent and palpable.

What are the causes of Olecranon Bursitis ?

Olecranon bursitis (elbow bursitis) may be seen after applying continuing pressure or with repeating traumas and with chronic irritation. Olecranon bursitis can be infected with direct contact with the external environment like in open wounds and, skin-piercing injuries . Also, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and other imflammatory diseases may cause bursitis in elbow.

How  does it diagnosed?

Formation of a soft fluid filled sac behind  elbow is the first finding. As  the sac  expands it puts pressure on the walls of the sac that  causes pain. If it gets complicated with infection, redness and warmth can be apparent on the sac. Fever and systemic signs of infection may pursue,  if the infection is not controlled. Diagnosis can be made by physical examination. Dr. Aktas may order radiological studies to rule out other related diseases or  possible foreign bodies or bone spurs.

What is the treatment?

In infected bursitis, first of al, bursitis fluid is drained for diagnostic and treatment purposes. Then appropriate antibiotic regimen is commenced. A compressive bandage and anti-inflammatory medicine can be recommended. If non-surgical treatment fails, surgical removal of the sac can be recommended by your surgeon.

Is the surgery of Olecranon bursitis performed under general anesthesia?

Both regional anesthesia and general anesthesia can be used depending on the patient and the anesthesiologist doctor.

About the author

Prof.Dr. Seref Aktas