Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a thin sac that lies between bone and soft tissue. It can be found near some joints. A healthy bursa allows smooth movement of soft tissue over bone. If a bursa becomes inflamed it can make movement painful.
Bursitis occurs most often in the:
Bursitis may be caused by:
Factors that may increase your chance of bursitis include:
Bursitis may cause any of the following:
You will be asked about your symptoms. The doctor may also ask about your daily habits and any injuries. The painful area will be looked at carefully. The diagnosis is often made based on how the area looks and symptoms.
Bursitis treatment will focus on decreasing inflammation and pain. The main step is to stop the activity causing the pain. You will be asked to rest the area and protect it from injury. Your doctor may also recommend:
Most bursitis will clear up with basic care. However, it can become a long-term problem if the cause is not relieved. Options for chronic bursitis or bursitis that does not respond to steps above include:
Chronic bursitis may need more aggressive treatment. Additional steps may include:
To help reduce your chance of bursitis:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Association of General Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Bursitis. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center website. Available at: http://wexnermedical.osu.edu/patient-care/healthcare-services/arthritis-rheumatology/bursitis. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Bursitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/bursitis. Updated February 28, 2017. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Elbow (olecranon) bursitis. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00028. Updated January 2011. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Hip bursitis. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00409. Updated March 2014. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Prepatellar bursitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114661/Prepatellar-bursitis. Updated June 5, 2017. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Tendinitis and bursitis. American College of Rheumatology. Available at: https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Tendinitis-Bursitis. Updated May 2015. Accessed November 10, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 6/12/2018