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ICD9 = | ICDO = | OMIM = | MedlinePlus = | eMedicineSubj = | eMedicineTopic = | MeshID = |Olecranon bursitis is a clinical condition characterised 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 fulfils 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.
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.
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