Adventitious bursitis

Adventitious or adventitial bursitis refers to inflammation associated with adventitious bursae.

Adventitious bursae are not permanent native bursae. They can develop in adulthood at sites where subcutaneous tissue becomes exposed to high pressure and friction.

When present in the foot, patients may present with metatarsalgia 6.

These begin when pre-existing small fluid spaces coalesce in loose connective tissue. The walls then progressively become differentiated from the adjacent connective tissue and a well-defined fluid-filled cavity is formed, which is lined by synovium-like columnar cells. Unlike permanent bursae, they lack a mesothelial lining.

  • foot and ankle region: typical site and usually adjacent to bony prominences
    • medial eminence of the first metatarsal head
    • towards the plantar aspect of the metatarsal heads
  • overlying amputation stumps 3

A region of superficial swelling with a fluid (anechoic) tract corresponding to friction sites in typical locations can be seen.

May demonstrate an ill-defined lesion located in the subcutaneous fat. Typical signal characteristics are that of fluid:

  • T1: low signal
  • T2:
    • high signal
    • may have intralesional string- or band-like low-signal structures

Article information

rID: 31302
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Adventitial bursitis
  • Inflammation of adventitious bursae
  • Inflammation of adventitial bursae

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: medial prominence of the 1st metatarsal head
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