A "bursa" is a small fluid-filled sac siting near a bone. It protects tissues around bones. "Bursae," are situated in multiple places throughout the body. Bursitis happens when bursae get inflamed and the symptoms of bursitis are swelling, tenderness and limitation of movement. More frequently bursitis happens around shoulders, elbows, hips or knees, but any joint can be affected. Bursitis can develop due to a pressure or rubbing on adjacent tissue or infection due to a skin injury.
Bursitis is diagnosed on physical exam. Occasionally, imaging like US or MRI are needed. Healthcare provider may remove fluid using a sterile needle to alleviate the symptoms and to examine for presence of infection.
Bursitis is treated with anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin or corticosteroids. Medications can be taken orally, but if indicated, injections either intramuscular or into a bursa can be done. Infected bursitis requires antibiotics. Rest, ice on/off for pain, protective cushions, heat to reduce stiffness may be used. Ice and heat should be limited to 15-20 continuous use to avoid thermal injuries. In extreme cases when conservative treatments fail, and symptoms are still present for a long time, surgery can be done.