Injuries Unpacked #5: Olecranon Bursitis

What is Olecranon Bursitis?

Olecranon bursitis is inflammation of the bursa that sits over the point of your elbow. This bursa is a fluid filled sac which allows your elbow to bend and straighten easier by letting the skin move easily over your elbow bones. When the bursa becomes inflamed movement of your elbow may become difficult or painful.

How does Olecranon Bursitis occur?

Olecranon bursitis can occur due to two reasons. The first and less common cause is from an infection in the body. The infection could be bacterial related or come from an insect bite or a cut/abrasion in the area. The more common cause of olecranon bursitis is a fall or blow to the elbow point.


The most common symptoms you will experience if you have olecranon bursitis is pain and notable swelling over the elbow point. If there is a lot of redness around your elbow and you are suffering from fevers this may indicate that your symptoms are coming from an infection. Usually you will still be able to move your elbow freely but touching the elbow point will be painful.

How will a physio diagnose?

A thorough history of how your elbow pain and swelling began will aid the physiotherapist in identifying the cause of your olecranon bursitis.

How will my Olecranon Bursitis be treated?

Treatment will be determined based on the cause of your bursitis. If there is a current infection in your body, your physiotherapist will refer you to a medical professional for further review.

If this sounds like something that you may be experiencing, give the clinic a call and we can help you get back on track and move pain free.