Bursitis of the Elbow (Olecranon Bursitis)

Bursitis of the elbow is inflammation resulting from the Olecranon bursa. The function of the Olecranon bursa is to allow for skin to slide over the elbow without causing tissue tears. The bursa is positioned between the ulna and the skin, making it easy to irritate and cause inflammation. Bursitis may be caused by acute or repetitive trauma.


  • Affected area may be red or warm
  • End-range of motion in the elbow will be restricted moderately
  • Tenderness at the location of the injury


  • Rest and protection following the injury
  • Draining of the bursa by a physician if necessary
  • Cortisone injection to limit inflammation and create a permanent solution to the injury if necessary
  • Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed if necessary
  • Surgery if the bursitis does not respond to other treatment options

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