Olecranon bursitis

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Olecranon bursitis
ICD-10 M70.2
ICD-9 726.33

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]

Overview

Olecranon bursitis is a clinical condition characterized by pain, swelling and inflammation of the olecranon bursa. This bursa is located over the extensor aspect of the extreme proximal end of the ulna. In common with other bursae, it is in the normal state invisible and impalpable, and contains only a very small amount of fluid, but fulfills the function of all bursae in facilitating movement at a joint (in this case the elbow) by enabling anatomical structures to glide more easily over each other. Also in common with other bursae, it can become inflamed, producing a condition called bursitis.

Causes

Bursitis normally develops as a result either of a single injury to the elbow, or perhaps more commonly due to repeated minor injuries, such as may be caused by repeatedly leaning on the point of the elbow on a hard surface. As a reaction to injury, the lining of the bursa becomes inflamed. It then secretes a much greater than normal amount of fluid into the closed cavity of the bursa, from where it has nowhere to go. The bursa therefore inflates, producing a swelling over the proximal end of the ulna which is usually inflamed and tender.

Differential diagnosis

Olecranon bursitis must be differentiated from other causes of bursitis

Type of Bursitis Differential diagnosis
Subacromial bursitis[1]
Olecranon bursitis[2][3]
Trochanteric bursitis[4][5]
Prepatellar bursitis[6][7][8]
Retrocalcaneal bursitis[9][10]

Treatment

Ideal treatment consists of aspirating the excess with a syringe, and injecting into the bursa a hydrocortisone type medication which will relieve the inflammation and prevent further accumulation of fluid. The patient must also be instructed to avoid leaning on the elbow.

References

  1. Walker‐Bone, Karen, et al. "Prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb in the general population.
  2. Stell IM (1996). "Septic and non-septic olecranon bursitis in the accident and emergency department--an approach to management". J Accid Emerg Med. 13 (5): 351–3. PMC 1342774. PMID 8894865.
  3. Lockman L (2010). "Treating nonseptic olecranon bursitis: a 3-step technique". Can Fam Physician. 56 (11): 1157. PMC 2980436. PMID 21075998.
  4. Brinks A, van Rijn RM, Bohnen AM, Slee GL, Verhaar JA, Koes BW; et al. (2007). "Effect of corticosteroid injection for trochanter pain syndrome: design of a randomised clinical trial in general practice". BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 8: 95. doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-95. PMC 2045096. PMID 17880718.
  5. Karpinski MR, Piggott H (1985). "Greater trochanteric pain syndrome. A report of 15 cases". J Bone Joint Surg Br. 67 (5): 762–3. PMID 4055877.
  6. Aaron, Daniel L., et al. "Four common types of bursitis: diagnosis and management." Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 19.6 (2011): 359-367.
  7. Huang, Yu-Chih, and Wen-Lin Yeh. "Endoscopic treatment of prepatellar bursitis." International orthopaedics 35.3 (2011): 355-358.
  8. Meyerding, Henry W., and ROBERT E. VanDEMARK. "POSTERIOR HERNIA OF THE KNEE:(BAKER'S CYST, POPLITEAL CYST, SEMIMEMBRANOSUS BURSITIS, MEDIAL GASTROCNEMIUS BURSITIS AND POPLITEAL BURSITIS)." Journal of the American Medical Association 122.13 (1943): 858-861.
  9. Fauci, Anthony S., and Carol Langford. Harrison's rheumatology. McGraw Hill Professional, 2010.
  10. Lyman, Jeffrey, Paul S. Weinhold, and Louis C. Almekinders. "Strain behavior of the distal Achilles tendon implications for insertional Achilles tendinopathy." The American Journal of Sports Medicine 32.2 (2004): 457-461.



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