a. General Information. The bursae are closed sacs lubricated by small amounts of synovial fluid. This fluid helps muscles and tendons move over bony prominences (pieces of bone that stick out). Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa or of several bursae. When bursitis occurs, it usually occurs in these bursae: the subdeltoid, the olecranon, the trochanteric, the calcaneal, or the prepatellar bursae. These are all areas where tendons pass over bony prominences. Housemaid's knee is a typical example of bursitis.
b. Causes. Bursitis affects individuals who spend a great deal of time on their knees regardless of whether they do housework or some other type of endeavor. Additional causes of bursitis include trauma, an acute or chronic infection (including syphilis and tuberculosis), rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
c. Signs/Symptoms of Bursitis. Included are the following:
(1) Pain at the affected site.
(2) Tenderness at the affected site.
(3) Limited range of motion.
(4) Swelling at the site.
(5) Redness at the site.
d. Treatment of Bursitis. Possible treatments include:
(2) By physician's orders, these procedures may be performed:
(a) Needle aspiration of joint. This procedure may be necessary to relieve pressure, to evacuate blood, or to get a fluid sample for laboratory studies.
(b) Intrabursal injection. Hydrocortisone and one percent procaine may be injected to relieve pain.
(c) Systemic corticosteriods may be injected to reduce inflammation.