Olecranon Bursitis

ExitCare ImageA bursa is a fluid-filled sac that covers and protects a joint. Bursitis is when the fluid-filled sac gets puffy and sore (inflammed). Olecranon bursitis occurs over the elbow. It is often caused by falling on the elbow, a joint disorder (arthritis), or infection. It can also be caused by overuse of the elbow joint.


  • Put ice on the affected area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes each hour while awake. Do this for the first 2 days.

  • Raise (elevate) your elbow above your heart when resting.

  • Bend, straighten, and move your joint 4 times a day. Rest the injured joint at other times. When you have less pain, begin slow movements and usual activities.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Limit the amount of dairy you eat and drink (milk, cheese, yogurt).


  • You have more pain even with treatment.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have warmth and irritation over the fluid-filled sac and elbow.

  • You have a red line going up your arm.

  • You have pain when you move your elbow.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.