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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Bursitis: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles


Bursitis | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the disease?

Treatments include rest, icing the affected bursa, and using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, or other pain relievers. If this does not work, an injection of steroids, such as cortrisone, into the affected bursa can provide dramatic relief. To do this, the area of skin over the bursa is sterilized with a cleaning solution and a small needle is placed into the bursa, releasing steroids and numbing medicine. After a few days the steroids will calm the inflammation, relieving the pain and improving range of motion.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Some people cannot take anti-inflammatory drugs since they can irritate the stomach and, if taken on a regular basis, can produce stomach ulcers.

Injections are usually well tolerated, but should not be given to anyone allergic to steroids or nerve numbing medicine like lidocaine. Injections can cause infection or bleeding, although this is rare. People on blood thinners, such as warfarin or aspirin, should talk to their doctors before having a steroid injection.

What happens after treatment for the disease?

After an injection, people should rest and apply ice to the affected bursa. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be taken along with the steroid injection to help relieve pain and swelling. As the bursitis resolves, people may return to their former activities. But, this can cause the bursitis to recur if it is done too soon.

How is the disease monitored?

The disease is monitored by physical examination.

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Bursitis: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Bill Harrison, MD
Reviewer: Sandy Keefe, RN, MSN
Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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