Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Elbow Case 5 History/Physical Exam

Olecranon Bursitis


• Any history of local trauma (laceration, puncture) or preceding infection should raise suspicion for septic olecranon bursitis. However, the absence of trauma or a wound does not rule out the possibility of infectious septic bursitis.

Physical exam should differentiate swelling of the olecranon bursa (increased pain in terminal flexion) from joint effusion (increased pain at terminal extension).

• Check for erythema or warmth over the olecranon bursa, which would raise the suspicion for infectious bursitis.

olecranon bursitis