Elbow bursitis develops when the thin sac of fluid between the skin and the elbow’s pointy tip becomes inflamed. When this happens, it can cause swelling, pain, redness, and heat in the elbow. These symptoms can cause the elbow to look deformed and make it difficult for you to perform day to day activities. There are a variety of non-surgical treatments for elbow bursitis, including rest, antibiotics (to treat infections), anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroids. Most patients are able to recover using these treatments.
When conservative treatment methods fail to work, your doctor may recommend elbow bursa surgery. This typically applies to patients who have chronic elbow bursitis. The procedure will involve removing the defective bursa. Elbow bursa surgery is generally an outpatient procedure and is a fairly short surgery to perform.
Elbow bursa surgery can be performed arthroscopically using minimally invasive techniques. The surgeon will make a very small incision through which miniature tools will be used to perform the surgery. Recovery from elbow bursa surgery will be shorter when minimally invasive techniques are used.
Elbow Bursa Removal Recovery
Recovery from elbow bursa surgery generally takes about a month. Immediately following the surgery, you will most likely wear a splint to immobilize the elbow while it recovers. Elbow bursa surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, so there is no need for a hospital stay. However, if there are complications or if your overall health is impacted, your surgeon may recommend a short hospital stay.
For the first few days following surgery, it is best to have someone with you who can help you move around the house and perform basic functions. Once you heal a little and get used to the immobilization, you will be able to do a lot of day to day functions on your own.
After some recovery, you will be asked to begin physical therapy. This will help strengthen your elbow, improve flexibility and mobility, and lessen pain symptoms. The sooner and longer you perform physical therapy exercises, the better results you will get. It will also help shorten your recovery.
Minimally invasive elbow bursa surgery can help shorten your recovery period and reduce your pain symptoms. Minimally invasive techniques cause less trauma to your body, which means there is less “healing” to be done following surgery. Not everyone is a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery. Talk to your surgeon about whether this is a good option for you.
Elbow Bursa Diagnosis and Treatment in San Antonio, Texas
The symptoms of a swollen elbow bursa can make completing daily tasks difficult. If you suspect that you have elbow bursitis, have it checked out by the orthopedic doctors at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine.
Among the wide range of orthopedic conditions we treat are elbow bursitis and elbow fractures. From diagnosis to post-operative rehabilitation, we will take care of you from the second you walk through the door to when you fully recover.
To schedule a consultation, call the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at (210) 692-7400 or request an appointment now. We look forward to helping you heal.