Managing Elbow and Shoulder Bursitis

Updated on February 10, 2020

Sometimes, bursitis tenderness, swelling, and pain can flare up in your elbow or shoulder. Unfortunately, the problems can significantly affect your ability to perform even basic tasks. For instance, if you are into sports, the problem can keep you away from playing or significantly reduce your performance. Initially, you may try to manage the pain on your own by resting or using ice packs, but eventually, you may require the services of an orthopedic shoulder & elbow surgeon in La Jolla, CA. Below are some of the treatments for shoulder and elbow bursitis that you can expect to receive.


This involves draining the excess fluid from the bursa found in the elbow joint. Bursa is a sac that is filled with fluid. Its main function is to cushion the tendons, bones, and muscles. Getting rid of excess fluid from the bursa can go a long way in reducing inflammation.

Steroid Shots

Steroid injections are also effective when it comes to managing the inflammation of joints. The injection is known to offer relief faster compared to oral pain medication. After the shot, you can expect the pain to go away within a couple of days. In some cases, the shot may be administered after the bursa has been aspirated.

Elbow Surgery

If an elbow bursa is infected, treatment may start with antibiotics. But if the condition does not seem to improve with time, your doctor can decide to surgically get rid of the bursa. However, you may still have to continue taking antibiotics even after the surgical procedure. After the surgery, you will be expected to wear a splint in order to protect your arm. Your doctor may suggest some stretches that can help you to restore function to your arm as it heals. The bursa may grow again after the procedure.

Shoulder Surgery

An inflamed shoulder bursa can also be surgically removed. The procedure is minimally invasive meaning that only small incisions will have to be made. During the procedure, the doctor may also get rid of extra bits of bone, also known as bone spurs. After the procedure, you will be required to wear shoulder slings so that you can hold the joint in place. Once the healing has started, your doctor will show you the exercises that can help you to regain function and strengthen your shoulder. The pain will be gone within a couple of months.

The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, it is apparent that bursitis can cause serious inflammation in the elbow and the shoulder. The good news is that it is an issue that can be treated in a number of ways. For instance, if the inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection, it can be treated using antibiotics. However, if the symptoms fail to go away with conservative treatments, your doctor can advise you to go for surgery. If you are looking for a reliable orthopedic surgeon to help you in this regard, Synergy Orthopedic Specialists Medical Group is an excellent facility to consider. Feel free to visit or contact them today for more information about the services that they offer.

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