olecranon bursitis (also known as fluid in the elbow) is a rather unpleasant disease. he has several reasons and symptoms. Let’s look at them and find out how it is treated.
If you’ve had a bad blow to one of your elbows or spend a lot of time leaning on them, you might see the pointer of the joint get red and swollen. In extreme cases of swelling, a lump could form, jutting out from the pointer– kind of like the animation character Popeye. That’s why olecranon bursitis is sometimes called “Popeye’s elbow.”
A bursa is a sac filled with fluid. Bursa happen throughout your body, acting as cushions between body parts, such as where muscles and tendons slide over bones and near big joints such as your shoulders, hips, and knees.
The bursa in your elbow, called the olecranon bursa, reduces friction in between the skin and the pointy bone in your elbow, which you can feel when you flex it.
You do not observe the bursa due to the fact that it normally lies flat, complying with the shape of your bone. But when it gets inflamed, the bursa can get swollen and large.
Your elbow can start swelling for a number of reasons:
Trauma: A hard blow to the elbow such as striking it or falling on top of it could cause the bursa to swell.
Too much pressure: Leaning your elbow against a tough surface area over a long time can irritate the bursa. Plumbing technicians, air-conditioning technicians, and others who need to work on their elbows are more likely to get this.
Other conditions: If you have another condition such as rheumatoid arthritis (a disease where your immune system attacks your joints), gout (a type of arthritis), or kidney failure in which you need dialysis (your blood is filtered through a machine), you have a greater chance of getting Popeye’s elbow.
Infection: If your bursa is infected from a cut, scrape, or insect bite, this will trigger the sac to fill with additional fluid, swell, and get red.
You may see a few of these symptoms when you have elbow bursitis:
Swelling: This is usually the first sign you’ll discover. The skin on the back of the elbow may be loose, so you might not see the swelling initially. In some cases, the swelling flares up rapidly and you might notice it right away. As the swelling grows, it can appear like a golf ball at the pointer of your elbow.
Pain: As the bursa stretches, this can start causing pain in your elbows, specifically when you bend them. There is normally no pain when the elbow is extended. However some people with elbow bursitis don’t feel any pain whether their elbows are flexed or not.
Soreness or warmth: If you see this in the area around your elbow, you may have an infected bursa.
Inflammation: Another indication is level of sensitivity in and around the elbow.
Pus: Watch for a yellow or white, thick, cloudy fluid draining from an infected bursa.
Discuss your symptoms and medical history with your doctor.
Your medical professional will examine your arm and elbow. In many cases, they might suggest an X-ray, which looks to see whether a broken bone or a piece of bony growth (called a bone spur) is triggering your elbow to swell.
Bone spurs on the pointer of the elbow bone could repeatedly trigger you to have elbow bursitis.
They could likewise buy a blood test to see whether you have an infection, however this is not typically very valuable.
Your doctor might take a sample of the fluid from your bursa. This will be done utilizing a needle. The fluid sample is taken to the lab for more testing. If the fluid is pus, this suggests you have an infection.
Treatment is about reducing your discomfort and taking steps to prevent or cure infection.
If your elbow bursa is not infected, take the following steps:
- Protect your elbow. This could indicate using elbow pads or a wrap to cushion it.
- Prevent activities that put direct pressure on your impacted elbow.
- Take pain medication such as ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories to lower the swelling and the pain. Follow your medical professional’s directions and check out the medicine label thoroughly.
If you have elbow bursitis because of an infection, you may have to take antibiotics that your doctor prescribes. Take the medication as directed to fight the infection.
If you don’t see improvements in pain and swelling in your elbow after taking these actions for 3 to 4 weeks, let your doctor understand.
They may suggest draining pipes the fluid from your bursa and injecting a medication to decrease the swelling. An injection of corticosteroid, a medication commonly utilized to lower inflammation and redness, might be utilized to reduce the pain and swelling.
If your elbow bursitis isn’t improving regardless of medication and treatment, your physician may advise surgery. Depending on your case, the entire bursa might be removed. You’ll probably stay overnight in the hospital to have this done. The bursa usually grows back generally after a number of months.
You typically need about 3 to 4 weeks to restore full use of your elbow after surgery.