Bursitis & Tendons

A sharp blow or constant banging can cause swelling and pain in the bursa, a fluid-filled cushion at the tip of your elbow. A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac that protects the tip of your elbow. It also allows your skin to slide over your elbow when you bend or rotate it. Bursitis is a sometimes painful swelling of the bursa. It comes from irritating this sac by repeatedly bumping your elbow or from years of use. Padding your elbow can help prevent bursitis.

When Your Bursa is Bumped:

Repeated bumping, a single sharp blow, or yearas of rubbing the tip of your elbow can cause the bursa to produce more protective fluid. Your elbow then swells noticeably and you may have pain. Left untreated, the excess fluid may become infected.

Treatment and Prevention:

A doctor may remove (aspirate) excess fluid to reduce swelling. The fluid may be tested for infection, and you may be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor may also inject your bursa with cortisone. To prevent bursitis, use an elbow pad during activites where you might bump the tip of your elbow.