Bursitis: Understanding Inflammation of the Body’s Cushioning Pads

Exploring Bursitis: Inflammation of Supportive Pads

Bursitis arises when the small fluid-filled pads, scattered throughout the body to facilitate smooth gliding between bones, muscles, and tendons, become inflamed or irritated. These pads, known as bursae, are most notably found around joints such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, and hip’s trochanter region.

Understanding the Role of Bursae

Bursae serve to minimize friction and cushion impact between moving parts. Inflammation of a bursa triggers fluid buildup within the sac, resulting in pain, swelling, and diminished cushioning function.

Diverse Bursa Locations and Associated Causes

Olecranon Bursitis:

Inflammation of the elbow’s bursa is commonly caused by prolonged leaning on the elbow.

Subacromial Bursitis:

Repetitive overhead motion frequently leads to inflammation of the bursa between the acromion, deltoid muscle (superiorly), and head of the humerus (inferiorly).

Pes Anserine Bursitis:

Inner knee bursa inflammation, often induced by factors like obesity and degenerative joint disease, can lead to Pes Anserine bursitis.

Retrocalcaneal Bursitis:

This condition involves inflammation of the retrocalcaneal bursa between the heel bone and the Achilles tendon, often known as ankle or Achilles tendon bursitis.

Prepatellar Bursitis:

Inflammation of the prepatellar bursa between the skin and patella can stem from chronic strain on flexed knees or repeated trauma.

Trochanteric Bursitis:

Hip bursitis is categorized by the region of inflammation. Trochanteric bursitis affects the trochanteric bursa, while ischial bursitis affects the ischial bursa, known as ‘Taylor’s bottom’ or ‘Weaver’s bottom’.

Identifying Risk Factors and Notable Symptoms

Age, occupational demands, hobbies, and certain medical conditions elevate the risk of bursitis. Symptoms encompass a range from dull to burning pain, swelling, redness, bruising, or rash, sharp pain during exertion, and discomfort even at rest.

Accurate Diagnosis and Comprehensive Treatment

Clinical diagnosis often suffices for bursitis identification. Imaging tests like X-rays and MRI scans can rule out other conditions. Lab tests, including aspiration of superficial bursae, may be conducted.

Tailored Treatment Approaches

Treatment varies based on symptom severity. Initial measures include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, icing, and avoiding exacerbating exercises. Corticosteroid injections can reduce inflammation, and fluid aspiration might be considered. If symptoms persist, surgical removal of the inflamed bursa might be necessary.

With Dr. Sunil Choudhary’s expertise, precise diagnosis, and personalized treatment, the journey to bursitis relief and restored comfort begins.