Olecranon bursitis

Olecranon bursitis refers to inflammation of the olecranon bursa. The olecranon bursa is a subcutaneous sac that overlies the olecranon process and contains a small amount of fluid to prevent against injury of subcutaneous tissue and skin from the uncovered bony olecranon.

Pathology

Aetiology

Bursitis can develop secondary to many causes:

Radiographic features

Plain film

Lateral radiograph of the elbow reveals soft tissue swelling superficial to the olecranon. Traumatic fracture or calcification in gout or CPPD may be evident.

Ultrasound

May show a fluid collection in the olecranon bursa, features of synovial proliferation and/or hyperaemia. A small proportion of patients may also show presence of an associated loose body or features of associated triceps tendonitis (+/- calcifications) 2.

CT
  • fluid density at the subcutaneous tissue superficial to the elbow
MRI

Bursal fluid collection has the following features:

  • T1: hypointense
  • T2: mainly hyperintense
  • C+ (Gd): enhancement of bursal margins

Triceps brachii muscle and subcutaneous oedema as well as elbow joint effusion may be seen.

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Article Information

rID: 29196
Section: Syndromes
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Bursitis of olecranon bursa
  • Inflammation of olecranon bursa
  • Olecranon bursal inflammation

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