Olecranon Bursitis
What is it?
The olecranon is the pointy bone at the tip of the elbow. The bursa is the thin sac of fluid that lies between this bony tip and the skin. It helps the skin slide over the bone smoothly. Normally, this sac has only a tiny bit of fluid inside of it and lays flat. However, the bursa can become irritated or inflamed and fill with extra fluid. When this happens, a painful swelling develops at the back of the elbow. This swelling is olecranon bursitis. 

Trauma, such as hitting the elbow or falling on the back of the elbow, can lead to olecranon bursitis. People who lean their elbows against hard surfaces can develop this problem over time. Those with conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or kidney failure needing dialysis can be more likely to get olecranon bursitis.

Because it can be caused by repeatedly resting weight on the elbow, olecranon bursitis has earned nicknames such as student’s elbow or miner’s elbow.

In many cases, the cause is not known. 
Olecranon Bursitis
What are the symptoms?
Gradual swelling at the back of the elbow might not be noticed at first. Sometimes the swelling develops quickly, especially following a blow to the back of the elbow. The swelling can worsen to look like a soft golf ball at the tip of the elbow. Most of the time, the bursitis does not cause pain.
The bursa can become infected, which will cause tenderness, redness, or warmth in the area, you may also have a fever. An infected bursa can break open and drain pus. 
Olecranon Bursitis
If the bursa does not seem to be infected, then treatments can include avoiding activities that are irritating the area, applying a snug elbow wrap or elbow pads, or taking oral anti-inflammatory medications. 

Your doctor might also choose to remove the fluid from the bursa first with a needle (aspiration). Sometimes a steroid injection is also placed into the bursa. 

If the bursa is infected, antibiotics might be needed. Sometimes the bursa has to be removed with surgery if the infection cannot be cleared or if the bursa keeps returning.

Following the R.I.C.E. formula:
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, is often sufficient to treat aseptic bursitis:
Olecranon Bursitis
Treatment at Hand Kinetics
Most cases of elbow bursitis can be resolved with self-care focused on eliminating activities or positions that aggravate the bursa and reducing the inflammation. Some cases, however, may become more serious and require more medical interventions. 

Treatment at Hand Kinetics will include a providing gel elbow wraps to protect the bursa and kinesio taping to help remove excess swelling.

Exercises are advised to help the elbow joint to stay freely moving during the healing phase.

Hand Kinetics Telephone: 0044 28 417 72301

15 The Avenue, Burren, Warrenpoint. Co. Down. BT34 3XJ

0044 28 4176 7238
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