emergency medicine at ncemi   More Emergency Medicine Resources
Back to table of contents

9.11 Bursitis


Presentation

Following minimal trauma or repetitive motion, a nonarticular synovial sac, or bursa, protecting a tendon or prominent bone becomes swollen, tender, and inflamed. Because there is no joint involved, there is no decreased range of motion, but, if the tendon sheath is involved, there may be some stiffness and pain with motion.

What to do:

Discussion

Common sites for bursitis include several bursae of the shoulder and knee, the olecranon bursa of the elbow, and the trochanteric bursa of the hip. Patients with septic bursitis, unlike those with septic arthritis, can often be safely discharged on oral antibiotics because the risk of permanent damage is much less when there is no joint involvement. Some long-acting corticosteroid preparations can produce a rebound bursitis several hours after injection, when the local anesthetic wears off, but before the corticosteroid crystals dissolve. Patients should be so informed.

Table of Contents
from Buttaravoli & Stair: COMMON SIMPLE EMERGENCIES
Longwood Information LLC 4822 Quebec St NW Washington DC 20016-3229
1.202.237.0971 fax 1.202.244.8393 electra@clark.net
Emergency Medicine at NCEMI   More emergency medicine resources
Write to us at NCEMI
Craig Feied, MD
Mark Smith, MD
Jon Handler, MD
Michael Gillam, MD