Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a small sac of fluid that
cushions and lubricates an area where tissues—including bone, tendon, ligament,
muscle, or skin—rub against one another. Bursae are located throughout the
body, in and on joints and other places that are at risk of rubbing or
Bursitis can be caused by prolonged or repeated pressure
on a bursa or by activities that require repeated twisting or rapid joint
movement. It can also be caused by trauma or by infection or systemic diseases such as arthritis.
Symptoms of bursitis may include:
Pain, especially with motion or pressure on the
Swelling caused by increased fluid within the
Redness and warmth.
Bursitis can often be treated at home by resting, applying
ice or cold packs to the affected area, and avoiding the activities that
irritate the area or cause pain. If the area is warm and red, an infection may
also be present. This requires medical evaluation.
Traumatic bursitis is bleeding in a bursa caused by a direct
blow to the bursa.
Septic bursitis is an infection of a
bursa, which sometimes results from traumatic bursitis. Septic bursitis
requires medical treatment. This may include surgery and/or a hospital stay
for intravenous (IV) antibiotic therapy.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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