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Olecranon Bursitis

    Olecranon Bursitis

    The olecranon is one of three bones in the elbow joint.  The olecranon does not have much soft tissue (ie-fat muscle) surrounding it unlike a joint like the hip.  The skin overlying the olecranon is dragged over the bone as we take the elbow thru a range of motion.  The olecranon bursa is a pad of grease that sits between the skin and bone.  Its role is to minimize friction between the skin and bone.  This bursa can become inflamed - thus the term bursitis.
    Infected olecranon bursitis occurs when bacteria penetrate the skin and grow in the bursa.  If caught early this may be treated successfully with antibiotics alone.  In some cases antibiotics alone are not sufficient and surgical cleaning of the bursa is need.

    Non-infected olecranon bursitis represent swelling and inflammation in bursa without the presence of bacteria. This can be treated with simple observation allowing the fluid to self resorb or needle aspiration to remove the fluid. Surgical excision of non-infected olecranon bursitis is uncommon.