Most people know what a sprain, fracture, or dislocation are when talking about joint injuries. Other ailments, however, are less well known. Bursitis is a perfect example.
No matter what is causing your pain, Dr. Jeremy Woodson and our top-notch team at our private practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma can help. We care for people of all ages and activity levels, providing everything from innovative treatments for injuries and chronic conditions to personalized recommendations to help athletes reach their peak level of performance.
In addition to obvious things like bones, muscles, and ligaments, our joints are also composed of other parts, including small sacs called bursae. Each bursa is filled with fluid and helps provide cushioning and reduce rubbing on the bones, muscles, and tendons. Bursae are most often found in the joints though they occur in other areas of the body, too.
If the bursae become inflamed, then bursitis can occur. It typically strikes the shoulder, elbow, and hip, though it can also affect the knee and feet. Pain can build up gradually or appear all of a sudden. Other symptoms may include swelling, a limited range of motion, and warmth, redness, and fever if an infection is involved.
Most often it results from overuse of or excess pressure on the joint. Unlike arthritis, which usually causes permanent damage, bursitis is often a short-term issue.
Bursitis can frequently be diagnosed with a physical exam. However, if it recurs or if an infection is suspected, tests may be ordered, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, or blood test.
There is a wide range of options available when it comes to treating bursitis. The initial recommendation is typically to rest and avoid doing the activity that caused it.
Additional suggestions include keeping the joint elevated, applying heat, and icing the area if it was the result of a sudden injury. A brace, splint, or sling can help keep the joint immobile. Over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and swelling.
In certain cases, more advanced treatments may be needed. If there is an infection, antibiotics are important. Physical therapy may help for people who have problems with the joint's range of motion. If the bursitis is caused by certain kinds of repetitive movements, occupational therapy may help determine different ways to move to reduce the stress on the joint.
Our sports medicine team can also determine if an injection of a corticosteroid would help to reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, if the bursa is still causing problems after six months to a year surgery could become an option.
Any time you have pain in a joint it's important to see our team to find out why and what treatment would be helpful. If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or another type of joint discomfort, call our office today at 405-233-3602 for an appointment.