Olecranon Bursitis


  • Fluid filled cyst about the elbow joint can cause pain and discomfort when knocked, often becomes inflamed and infected.


  • Olecranon Bursa is a potential space that fills with fluid. This is usually caused by trauma, overuse or inflammatory conditions.


  • Clinical exam will show obvious swelling over the olecranon and ultrasound or MRI will confirm the cyst is full of fluid and not a solid lesion.
  • Plain x-rays are taken to look for any underlying bone or joint problem.


  • Non operative measures such as antiflammatories, aspiration of cyst are sometimes successful.
  • In recalcitrant cases surgical excision is required.
  • Operation usually requires an overnight stay, general anaesthetic; excision of the bursa, sometimes excess skin needs to be removed.
  • The patient is usually placed in a splint to restrict elbow motion for two to three weeks.

Potential Complications

  • Infection, Haematoma, stiffness
  • Can get recurrence of the bursa
  • The biggest issue is with wound healing

Post-Operative Care

  • Analgesia, Elevation,
  • Back slab for two to three weeks until wound is well healed
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