Elbow Bursitis Information

Last updated on 20 July 2019 by Danniel Jacques (B.Med.Sci UNSW)

What is Elbow Bursitis (Olecranon Bursitis)?

Elbow Bursitis - OSMO Patch - USOlecranon bursitis is the proper name for the inflammatory condition ‘elbow bursitis’. Elbow pain due to olecranon bursitis occurs when a small bursa within the elbow (which normally acts as a small cushion between bones and tendons) becomes inflamed and swollen. This can occur for several reasons which will be discussed below.

Another name often given to this condition is ‘Poppy Elbow’ due to the large lump that may appear on the elbow.

What Causes Elbow Bursitis?

As mentioned above, the elbow is very susceptible to injury. Below are some of the common causes for elbow bursitis.

  • Repetitive strain and stress to the elbow such as from playing sports, lifting weights or resting elbows on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
  • Sudden impact such as from a fall, sports injury or an accident.
  • Natural wear and tear of the elbow joint.
  • Pre-existing inflammatory conditions.
  • Infection. If there is heat, redness, swelling and pain in your elbow there may be an active infection. It is best to seek treatment from a medical professional straight away if you suspect an infection.

What are the Symptoms of Bursitis in the Elbow?

Signs and symptoms of bursitis in the elbow may include:

  • A small to large visible lump on the elbow
  • Discomfort and elbow pain at rest,
  • Pain in the elbow when bending the arm,
  • Moderate to severe elbow pain when placing weight on the elbow
  • There may also be a limited range of motion in the elbow.

How is Elbow Bursitis Diagnosed?

It is always best to visit a qualified medical professional if you suspect that you have bursitis in the elbow prior to starting any treatment in order to get a proper diagnosis.

While elbow bursitis can be assessed by a physical and visual examination it is best to have an x-ray and ultrasound to properly confirm the diagnosis.

Your doctor may also feel that blood tests or aspiration of some of the fluid is required if they suspect an infection or to rule out any other possible causes or co-existing conditions.

Next Page: Learn the answers to the most common questions asked about treating elbow bursitis, including:

Testimonials

Real accounts by real people. Hear what they have to say!

Dear Toky: My patches arrived on Feb. 10th. I have now used 9 of the patches, wearing one sometimes during the day. I have noticed significant results, although there is still some swelling in the bursa in my left elbow.

- George A, Utah, United States

So I had buristis (the size of a hardball) in my elbow. Three doctor visits (3) draining visits, but swelling returned instantly. Tried your patches and after 10 apps.  it has completely disappeared!  Thank You  

- Ed L, Washington, United States

In early November, 2008, I was shocked when by chance I looked at my right elbow and saw that it had a swollen lump almost half the size of a tennis ball. I had no recollection of bumping it or otherwise causing damage to it and was really quite surprised because it was painless.   That […]

- Brian L, Auckland, New Zealand

Hello, My name is Garry Gracey; I am a former HANDBALL CHAMPION.  I banged my elbow while playing handball.  It became swollen after a few days and my family doctor recommended not to drain the bursa on the elbow but to have it take its natural healing course. “Being impatient” I googled and found OSMO […]

- Garry I. Gracey, British Columbia, Canada

On applying your patch to my elbow for three days the bursitis disappeared. Simply amazing. My elbow and shoulder were both injured at the same time. They were attended to by a highly respected orthopaedic physician. After treatment, my shoulder fully recovered but the bursitis continued in full bloom. My doctor did not suggest draining […]

- Robert F, Florida, United States

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