Elbow Bursitis Pictures
elbow bursitis pictures
What is elbow bursitis?
Elbow Bursitis Care Guide
Elbow Bursitis Aftercare Instructions
Elbow Bursitis Discharge Care
Elbow bursitis is inflammation of the bursa in your elbow. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between a bone and a tendon. A tendon is a cord of strong tissue that connects muscles to bones. The bursa is located right under the point of your elbow.
What causes elbow bursitis?
An injury, such as a fall
Overuse of your elbow, such as when you play tennis, vacuum, or swing a hammer Pressure on your elbows, such as when you lean on your elbows
Medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout
What are the signs and symptoms of elbow bursitis?
Pain or tenderness when you move your elbow
Redness or swelling on or around the point of your elbow
Decreased movement of your elbow
Warmth of the skin over your elbow
How is elbow bursitis diagnosed?
Your caregiver will examine your elbow and ask about your injury or activities. You may need any of the following:
Blood tests: Your blood is tested for signs of infection. Caregivers may also check for diseases that may be causing your bursitis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
X-rays: These pictures will show bone position problems, arthritis, or a fracture.
MRI: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your elbow. An MRI may show tissue damage or arthritis. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if you have any metal in or on your body.
Fluid culture: Caregivers use a needle to drain fluid from your bursa. The fluid will be sent to a lab and tested for infection. Removal of bursa fluid may also help relieve your symptoms.
How is elbow bursitis treated?
NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs are available without a doctor’s order. Ask your caregiver which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and when to take it. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding and kidney problems if not taken correctly.
Antibiotics: These help fight an infection caused by bacteria. You may need antibiotics if your bursitis is caused by infection.
Steroid injection: This shot will help decrease pain and swelling.
Surgery: You may need surgery to remove your bursa or part of your elbow bone. Surgery is only done when other treatments do not work.
What are the risks of elbow bursitis?
The infection may spread to nearby joints. You may develop long-term bursitis. This may include pain and severe limitation of movement.
How can I manage my symptoms?
Rest: Rest your elbow as much as possible to decrease pain and swelling. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times each day, as directed.
Compress: Caregivers may wrap your arm with tape or an elastic bandage to decrease swelling. Loosen the elastic bandage if you start to lose feeling in your fingers.
Elevate: Raise your elbow above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your elbow on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
Physical therapy: You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function.
How can I prevent elbow bursitis?
Avoid injury and pressure to your elbows: Wear elbow pads or protectors when you play sports. Do not lean on your elbows or clench your fists. Do not tightly grip small items, such as tools or pens.
Stretch, warm up, and cool down: Always stretch and do warmup and cool-down exercises before and after you exercise. This will help loosen your muscles and decrease stress on your elbows. Rest between workouts.
When should I contact my caregiver?
Contact your caregiver if:
Your pain and swelling increase. Your symptoms do not improve after 10 days of treatment. You have a fever.
You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Olecranon bursitis is inflammation and swelling behind the elbow. It often clears on its own. Treatment may be needed in some cases to reduce the inflammation and clear any build-up of fluid.
What is the olecranon bursa?
The olecranon is the top part of the bone called the ulna. It is the bony part of the back of the elbow – the bit that you lean on.
A bursa is a small sac that contains a small amount of fluid. The fluid is similar to the fluid in joints (synovial fluid). There are several bursae in the body including one just over the olecranon. Bursae help to make movement smooth between bones which ‘stick out’ and the overlying skin.
What is olecranon bursitis?
Bursitis means inflammation of a bursa. The bursa at the back of the elbow over the olecranon is the most
What causes olecranon bursitis?
- Mild but repeated injury is thought to be the common cause. For example, people who lean on their elbows a lot cause friction and repeated mild injury over the olecranon. (Fancy names have been given to this condition when the cause is clear. For example ‘student’s elbow’ when it occurs in people who study with their elbows leaning on a desk. Other names include ‘miner’s elbow’, ‘plumber’s elbow’, etc, when the job involves crawling a lot using elbows.)
- One-off injury such as a blow to the back of the elbow may set off inflammation.
- Arthritis. One or more bursae may become inflamed as part of a generalised arthritis. (Note: most cases of olecranon bursitis are not associated with arthritis.)
- Infection of a bursa. This may occur if there is a cut in the skin over a bursa, which allows in bacteria.
- Unknown (idiopathic). Many cases occur for no apparent reason. However, it is possible that some of these are due to a mild injury that has been forgotten.
- What are the symptoms of olecranon bursitis?
- You cannot normally feel or see a bursa. If the olecranon bursa is inflamed then it causes a thickness and swelling over the back of the elbow. The bursa may also fill with fluid and it then looks like a small soft ball – a bit like a cyst. Most cases (those not infected or associated with arthritis) are painless, or are only mildly painful. The movement of the elbow joint is not affected.
If the bursa is infected (‘septic’ olecranon bursitis) then you will usually develop pain, redness and tenderness behind the elbow.
A bursitis associated with arthritis may not be painful itself, but you will have other symptoms related to the arthritis such as joint pains.
How is olecranon bursitis diagnosed?
If you have a straightforward case of olecranon bursitis, the doctor may be able to diagnose it without any tests. However, scans and blood tests are sometimes done to rule out other causes of elbow swelling such as infection (septic arthritis), gout or rheumatoid arthritis. If you have had a significant injury, an X-ray might be needed to make sure you have not got a fracture.
What is the treatment for olecranon bursitis?
- No treatment may be needed. A small painless thickening or swelling is common. It often clears by itself. If a small amount of fluid remains once the inflammation has gone then this can be left alone. However, a large collection of fluid may be unsightly.
- RICE treatment. You may find the swelling improves with (R)est, (I)ce packs, (C)ompression (wearing a bandage) and (E)levation (keeping the elbow in a raised position).
- Anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, etc) may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling.
- Ultrasound and electrical treatment have helped some people.
- A steroid injection into the bursa may cure the problem. Steroids are good at reducing inflammation.
- Aspiration (draining the fluid) can be done with a needle and syringe if a lot of fluid builds up. However, the fluid tends to build up again after being drained. Therefore, you may be advised to wear a tight pressure bandage for a while after the fluid is drained to prevent it building up again.
- Surgery to remove the bursa is an option if the above do not work.
- Antibiotics are needed if the cause of the bursitis is an infection.
If you protect the elbow from excessive friction and rubbing it may prevent further bouts of bursitis. This may mean using elbow pads if you need to lean on your elbows whilst working.
When younger and engaged in numerous contact sports, I occasionally fell on my elbows. The swelling and inflammation was other than the result of a broken bone, and it went away in a week or so. I didn’t know anything about the anatomy of my elbow, so I didn’t take such falls too seriously.
However, this new swelling caught me by surprise, for I had not hit my elbow against anything! Upon research, I determined that I had unwittingly contributed to my condition by spending long hours, for numerous days, sitting at my computer finishing a project. During that time, my elbows were in constant contact with the hard surface of the arms of my chair. It was this firm contact at the bony tip of my elbow that caused the problem!
In this article I want to tell you what I have learned about bursitis of the elbow — its causes, symptoms, treatment, the elbow’s anatomy, and how I speeded my recovery by using Arda BEYAZ Seal tincture. I am fortunate to have first hand experience with several conditions in which I have had success using Solomon’s Seal, and my elbow bursitis is just one example.
When you rub your elbow firmly, you can feel the hard bones of your forearm. The tip, or point, of the elbow is called the olecranon. What you can’t feel is theolecranon bursa, a slippery sac between the loose skin of the elbow and the bones of your forearm.
WHAT DOES THE OLECRANON BURSA DO?
First, understand that a bursa is a sac made of thin, slippery tissue. Bursae occur in the body wherever skin, muscles, or tendons need to slide over bone, especially in the shoulder, hip and knee. Bursae are lubricated with a small amount of fluid (called synovial fluid) inside that helps reduce friction from the sliding parts.
The olecranon bursa is located between the tip, or point, of the elbow (the olecranon) and the overlying skin. This bursa allows the elbow to bend and straighten freely underneath the skin. In short, this bursa acts as a cushion between the skin and the bone. However, if the elbow is hit, or you put constant pressure against the tip of the elbow (as when you lean on a desk or other hard surface), the bursa can become inflamed and irritated, a condition called bursitis. The bursa begins to swell, and may create a lump over the tip of the elbow. Often, elbow bursitis is called Popeye’s Elbow, after the famous cartoon sailorman.
Causes of Elbow Bursitis
DIRECT BLOW TO ELBOW
In some cases, a direct blow or fall onto the elbow can damage the bursa. This usually causes bleeding into the bursa sac, because the blood vessels in the tissues that make up the bursa are damaged and torn. In the skin this would simply form a bruise, but in a bursa blood may actually fill the bursa sac. This causes the bursa to swell up like a rubber balloon filled with water.
The blood in the bursa is thought to cause an inflammatory reaction. The walls of the bursa may thicken and remain thickened and tender even after the blood has been absorbed by the body. This thickening and swelling of the bursa is referred to asolecranon bursitis.
Contact sports are not without falls that can harm the elbows — ice hockey, racquetball, basketball, any sport requiring diving to the ground. Rollerskating, ice skating, skateboarding and the like can also cause elbow damage. Simply whacking the elbow hard against a wall, or in a fall against a rock when hiking, or as a result of a car or bicycle accident — these can harm the elbow as well.
elbow bursitis pictures
elbow bursitis pictures
elbow bursitis pictures
elbow bursitis pictures
elbow bursitis pictures
elbow bursitis pictures elbow bursitis pictures
CONSTANT CONTACT WITH HARD SURFACES
Olecranon bursitis can also occur over a longer period of time. People who constantly put their elbows on a hard surface as part of their activities or job can repeatedly injure the bursa. This repeated injury can lead to irritation and thickening of the bursa over time. The chronic irritation leads to the same condition in the end: olecranon bursitis.
I have personally learned that I am susceptible to elbow bursitis by resting them on my chair’s uncushioned arms (of which I now have cushioned with foam!).
The olecranon bursa can also become infected. This may occur without any warning, or it may be caused by a small injury and infection of the skin over the bursa that spreads down into the bursa. In this case, instead of blood or inflammatory fluid in the bursa, it becomes filled with pus. The area around the bursa becomes hot, red, and very tender. Although infrequent in occurrence, it is important to get immediate medical attention if you believe this may be the case with you.
Symptoms of Elbow Bursitis
Olecranon bursitis causes pain and swelling in the area at the tip of the elbow. It may be very difficult to put the elbow down on a surface due to the tenderness. If the condition has been present for some time, small lumps may be felt underneath the skin over the olecranon. Sometimes these lumps feel as though something is floating around in the olecranon bursa, and they can be very tender. These lumps are usually the thickened folds of bursa tissue that have formed in response to chronic inflammation.
Note: I realize now that after many years of whacking my elbow through sports and recreational activities, I can feel these little “floating” folds of bursa tissue beneath the skin of my elbow.
The bursa sac may swell and fill with fluid at times. This is usually related to your activity level, and more activity usually causes more swelling. Over time the bursa can grow thick, almost like an elbow pad on the olecranon.
Gradual swelling indicates a chronic or long-lasting condition, while sudden swelling may signal a traumatic injury or an infection in the elbow. Motion in the elbow may be limited, especially if there was a traumatic impact to the elbow.
If the bursa becomes infected, the elbow becomes swollen and very tender and warm to the touch around the bursa. You may run a fever and feel chills. An abscess, or area of pus, may form on the elbow. If the infection is not treated quickly, the abscess may even begin to drain, meaning the pus begins to seep out.
Treatment of Elbow Bursitis (including the use of Solomon’s Seal)
Olecranon bursitis that is caused by an injury will usually go away on its own. The body will absorb the blood in the bursa over several weeks, and the bursa should return to normal. Often you are left with a bursa sac that has stretched and is too large for the space it now occupies. The sac may develop wrinkles that over time, will harden.
Medication and Rest
Chronic olecranon bursitis is sometimes a real nuisance. The swelling and tenderness get in the way and causes pain. This can create a hardship both at work and during recreational activities.
Treatment usually starts by trying to control the inflammation. This may include a short period of rest. Medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin may be suggested by your doctor to control the inflammation and swelling. An elbow pad might be useful in making it easier to put the elbow on hard surfaces.
Generally, R.I.C.E. is the first line of treatment for bursitis:
- Rest: Take a break from whatever activity is causing the elbow to swell or become painful.
- Ice: Apply ice packs for short periods of time (15 to 20 minutes, three or four times a day).
- Compression: Wrap an elastic bandage around the elbow to keep swelling down.
- Elevation: Elevate the elbow above the level of your heart.
MEDICAL TREATMENT VIA DRAINAGE
If the bursa remains filled with fluid, a needle can be inserted and the fluid drained. During the drainage procedure, if there is no evidence of infection, a small amount of cortisone can be injected into the bursa to control the inflammation. Again, there is a small risk of infection if the bursa is drained with a needle.
Your health practitioner may also prescribe professional rehabilitation to evaluate and treat the problems that are causing your symptoms. Your physical or occupational therapist may suggest the use of heat, ice, and ultrasound to help calm pain and swelling. You may be given tips and strategies to avoid repetitive elbow motion and to do your activities without putting extra pressure on your elbows.
If an infection is found to be causing the olecranon bursitis, the bursa will need to be drained with a needle, perhaps several times over the first few days. You will be placed on antibiotics for several days.