Elbow Bursitis Pictures
I have Elbow Bursitis right now and I have Elbow Bursitis Pictures to show you.
I’m writing this article for people that have elbow pain or swelling around the elbow all the way to the wrist and underneath and there may be wondering why did the elbow bursitis happen, what caused elbow bursitis, what are the symptoms of elbow bursitis and what are the treatments for elbow bursitis.
Why does elbow bursitis happen?
Elbow bursitis happens when the olecranon bursa (a thin fluid filled sac) located just at the bony tip of the olecranon or elbow becomes inflamed or irritated.
This could also be the case if bursa that are in your hip become inflamed then hip bursitis may develop.
Our bodies contain many bursae, they are important because they help soft tissues to move freely whilst acting as a cushion between soft tissues and bones, bursa is filled with a type of lubricating fluid.
Bursae can become inflamed in other parts of the body and cause swelling and pain.
The Olecranon Bursa
The olecranon bursa is flat in shape, but it develops irritation or inflammation excess fluid will gather in the bursa surrounding the elbow and bursitis will progress.
The pain associated with elbow bursitis occurs when there is too much fluid in the bursa,.
The pain can be quite sharp when bending the elbow to do everyday tasks this causes movement of the affected arm to become limited (try brushing your teeth with the other hand!)
Causes of Elbow Bursitis
There are several reasons that elbow bursitis may occur:
Sustained pressure: Computer work is essential in almost every occupation, people who lean on the tip of their elbow for sustained amounts of time especially on a hard surface may over several months that the bursa begins to swell.
Best advice for people who spend a lot of time each day working on a computer:
1. Take a break for 5 minutes each hour, bend your elbows up and down as a form of exercise.
2. Use a wrist rest mouse pad for more support
3. Flex your fingers for a couple of minutes
People in other jobs are susceptible to elbow bursitis and none more so than air or heat condition engineers because in their job they have to do a lot of crawling in confined spaces whilst leaning on their elbows, soldiers may be in a similar position when doing army drills.
Trauma: By banging your elbow accidentally against a hard surface will make the bursa produce too much fluid causing swelling.
Elbow infection: In some cases, elbow bursitis can be caused by an injury to the tip of the elbow, such as a scrape, an insect bite or puncture wound bacteria may enter the bursa sac and infect it.
The infection causes fluid, redness, swelling and pain, if left untreated the fluid may turn into pus. On some rare cases the bursa sac may become infected without any apparent skin injury.
Medical conditions: Some medical conditions such as arthritis or gout are linked to elbow bursitis
What are the symptoms of elbow bursitis?
A nagging pain: From my experience I can say that I had a what could best be described as a nagging pain near my elbow for about four days before the swelling and pain increased.
I now know that when the swelling came it was because the bursa had started to stretch and that caused the sharp pain.
I also found that the pain and stiffness got a lot worse If I tried to bend my elbow, so much so that the only choice that I had was to stop doing any activities that involved my right arm, I found that this wasn’t the easiest thing to do as I am right handed!!
Swelling: I found that the swelling started after about the 5th day of nagging pain, so I would say that swelling is the second symptom, not only does it start near the elbow I found that it spread in a 360 degree area all the way from my elbow to my wrist.
Redness and warmth: An infection in the elbow bursa will cause redness and the elbow itself will be quite hot to touch, it is important to go and see your doctor in case the area around the elbow is infected.
This could lead to sepsis if it gets into the bloodstream, in some cases the bursa that is infected may open instinctively to allow some of the pus to drain out.
What will your doctor do?
In my case doctor examined my elbow and my arm, we discussed the symptoms that I was having.
In order to eliminate an infection he took a small needle and stuck into the centre of my elbow (ouch!) no sogn of fluid so infection was ruled out.
Bone spurs are commonly found in cases where elbow bursitis has come back however my doctor ruled this out because it was my first case of elbow bursitis, had it been a repeated case he would have sent me for an X-ray to find out if bone spurs were present.
Blood test: In my case doctor decided to do a blood test (ESR, Cholesterol, White Cell Count) he wanted to find out the exact cause of my elbow bursitis.
Elbow Bursitis Treatments
Depending on the cause of the elbow bursitis and if it was caused by an infection doctor will try to aspirate the fluid from the bursa using a needle.
This procedure is usually performed in the surgery, by removing the fluid the symptoms will be relieved, he can also send a sample to the laboratory to see if bacteria is there.
In my case the doctor prescribed antibiotics, painkillers and an anti-inflammatory gel to make sure that any infection could not progress
Non-infectious Elbow Bursitis: If the cause of the elbow bursitis is non-infectious then other management options are used:
Medications: Medication painkillers such as Ibuprofen or certain anti-inflammatories could be used to reduce the swelling and associated symptoms
Elbow pads: Elbow pads are a useful way to support and cushion the elbow
Elbow usage: Change daily activities that put pressure on the elbow
Serrapeptase: I found that by taking Serrapeptase (250,00 IU x 4 per day) helped the swelling to reduce.
If you are not seeing results within 3-6 weeks you will have to visit your doctor, fluid may need to be removed from the bursa and a corticosteroid injection may be used directly into the bursa.
The antibiotics may not have worked so the injection is a much stronger anti-inflammatory, however not all patients feel relief from a corticosteroid injection.
Surgery for elbow bursitis
If there is no improvement following the corticosteroid injection or the fluid removal from the elbow then surgery that removes all the bursa may be required, a combination of surgery and intravenous or oral antibiotics will be used.
Don’t worry about losing the bursa, they usually grow back into a non-inflamed normal functional bursa within several months. The surgery is normally completed in the outpatient department and doesn’t affect other muscles, ligaments, or joint structure.
Recovery after surgery
Following surgery, a splint may be applied to the arm to provide protection for the skin, your doctor may recommend specific exercises to help you with getting your elbow back to full capacity.
The incision in your skin will heal after about 12-16 weeks following surgery, your elbow may need elbow padding for protection for several months to prevent any injury.