Bursitis of the elbow, also known as olecranon bursitis, is a painful condition that can make it very hard for you to use your elbow like you usually can. In elbow bursitis, a fluid-filled saccushions your elbow joint gets irritated or inflamed.
Inflammation of the olecranon (elbow) bursa can occur for many reasons, including repetitive elbow motions, a sudden blow to the elbow, or infections. Bursitis symptoms, such as pain while moving the elbow and swelling around the elbow, can impair your ability to do daily activities if left untreated.
Let’s talk about the treatment options available for bursitis elbow and where you can go for outstanding treatment of this condition in North Dakota.
Treatment Options for Elbow Bursitis
Typically, elbow bursitis dissipates within a few weeks with self-care measures, particularly when your bursitis is aseptic. But in some cases, where symptoms are not responding to at-home remedies, seeing an orthopedic doctor for nonsurgical or surgical treatment is necessary.
Conservative treatments for elbow bursitis include R.I.C.E. therapy, medications, physical therapy, etc.
Rest: Limiting or eliminating the activities that aggravate bursitis can ease the symptoms. Avoid leaning on your elbows and refrain from doing activities that put direct pressure on your elbow.
Ice: Applying ice to the swollen elbow for 15-20 minutes three times a day improves the symptoms and decreases swelling. Direct application of ice may lead to frostbite, so wrap the ice in a towel before applying it to the skin.
Compression: Wrapping an elastic bandage around the swollen elbow can help control and relieve swelling.
Elevation: Inflammation of the elbow can also be decreased by keeping the affected elbow above the heart level. Elevation decreases elbow inflammation and pain by reducing blood flow to the affected area.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):Over-the-counter(OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, and celecoxib can reduce pain and swelling associated with elbow bursitis.
Corticosteroid injections: Injecting corticosteroids directly into the inflamed elbow bursa can quickly ease the bursitis symptoms because ofthe strong anti-inflammatory property of corticosteroids.
Antibiotics: If your elbow bursitis is septic, it requires antibiotic treatment. The selection of antibiotics depends on the microorganism that caused the infection.
Generally, an orthopedic doctor first recommends oral antibiotics.But if your infection is advanced, antibiotics are administered intravenously.
Your orthopedic doctor may also refer you to a physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist may recommend different stretching and strengthening exercises such as flexion stretch, extension stretch, and pronation and supination stretch. These exercises may help you reduce bursitis pain and prevent problems in the future.
In surgical drainage,your orthopedic surgeon drains the fluid, particularly from septic bursitis, with the help of a needle to relieve pain and inflammation.
Rarely, in cases where elbow bursitis does not respond to nonsurgical treatments or when bursitis becomes a chronic issue, your orthopedic doctor may recommend surgery. During the surgery, your orthopedic surgeon removes the affected bursa.
Bursitis of Elbow Treatment in North Dakota
If you think you’re having elbow bursitis and are seeking a lasting solution, visit us here at The Bone & Joint Center. Our healthcare team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons, physician assistants, and physical therapists is committed to providing you with comprehensive orthopedic care for your orthopedic condition, including elbow bursitis.
To set up an appointment with one of the elbow specialists or know more about elbow bursitis and its treatments, call us today at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650, or use our convenient online request form.