This is a chronic inflammation of the olecranon bursa. It may be the result of repetitive minor injuries or irritation, microcrystalline deposition. Infection occurs due to chronic friction as in students who tend to keep their elbows repeatedly over the table, bench, etc. over long periods during writing, reading, etc.
It usually manifests as a swelling over the tip of the olecranon. There may be pain, if there is inflammation. Inspection or palpation usually easily detects it.
Aspiration and culture of the bursal fluid are necessary in order to exclude the possibility of an infectious etiology.
Treatment is essentially conservative and consists of NSAIDs, local steroids, etc. Surgical excision is done in chronic cases. Microcrystalline-induced bursitis has a good prognosis and the symptoms usually resolve after a few days, whether treated or not. However, bursitis due to repeated minor irritation is more difficult to treat.
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