|Classification and external resources|
Example of Elbow Bursitis
Bursitis is the inflammation of one or more bursae (small sacs) of synovial fluid in the body. The bursae rest at the points where internal functionaries, such as muscles and tendons, slide across bone. Healthy bursae create a smooth, almost frictionless functional gliding surface making normal movement painless. When bursitis occurs, however, movement relying upon the inflamed bursa becomes difficult and painful. Moreover, movement of tendons and muscles over the inflamed bursa aggravates its inflammation, perpetuating the problem. Muscle can also be stiffened.
Bursitis is commonly caused by repetitive movement and excessive pressure. Shoulders, elbows and knees are the most commonly affected. Inflammation of the bursae might also be caused by other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Infrequently, scoliosis can cause bursitis of the shoulders; however, shoulder bursitis is more commonly caused by overuse of the shoulder joint and related muscles.
Traumatic injury is another cause of bursitis. The inflammation irritates because the bursa no longer fits in the original small area between the bone and the functionary muscle or tendon. When the bone increases pressure upon the bursa, bursitis results. Sometimes the reason is unknown. It can also be associated with some chronic systemic diseases.
Examples by site
The most common examples of this condition:
- Prepatellar bursitis, "housemaid's knee"
- Infrapatellar bursitis, "clergyman's knee"
- Trochanteric bursitis, giving pain over lateral aspect of hip
- Olecranon bursitis, "student's elbow", characterised by pain and swelling in the elbow
- Subacromial bursitis, giving shoulder pain, is the most common form of bursitis.
- Achilles bursitis
- Retrocalcaneal bursitis
- Ischial bursitis, "weaver's bottom"
- Iliopsoas bursitis
- Anserine bursitis
Signs and symptoms
Bursitis symptoms vary from local joint pain and stiffness, to stinging pain that surrounds the joint around the inflamed bursa. In this condition, the pain usually is worse during and after activity, and then the bursa and the surrounding joint become stiff the next morning.
Bursae that are not infected can be treated with rest, ice, elevation, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication. Since bursitis is caused by increased friction from the adjacent structures, a compression bandage is not suggested because compression would create more friction around the joint. Advanced massage therapy techniques can also be employed to help with the inflammatory process of bursitis.
Bursae that are infected require further investigation and antibiotic therapy. In cases when all conservative treatment fails, surgical therapy may be necessary. In a bursectomy the bursa is cut out either endoscopically or with open surgery. The bursa grows back in place after a couple of weeks but without any inflammatory component.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bursitis.|
- "Shoulder Bursitis".
- Fauci, Anthony (2010). Harrison's Rheumatology, Second Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing; Digital Edition. p. 271. ISBN 9780071741460.
- Bursitis treatment from NHS Direct
- General Bursitis Information at About.com
- Information from the Mayo Clinic
- Bursitis Causes, Types, Self-Management, Treatment, Prevention from University of Washington Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine