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Shoulder Bursitis

The bursa is a sac-like structure, present throughout the body to decrease the friction between two surfaces such as bones, tendons, muscles and skin, to ensure smooth movement. In the shoulder, a bursa is present between the acromion (bone on top of the shoulder) and rotator cuff (group of muscles and tendons of the shoulder joint), and allows streamlined movement of the rotator cuff tendons when your arm is moved.

Bursitis is a condition, characterized by inflammation of the bursa, due to infection, trauma, or inflammatory disease, which results in pain and reduced movement. It is commonly associated with tendinitis, which is the inflammation of the shoulder tendons.

Bursitis can be caused by excessive repetition of any specific movement, injury or minor impact on the shoulder. Certain medications, a poorly positioned bone or joint, and other conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders and psoriatic arthritis can increase your risk of developing shoulder bursitis. In rare cases, shoulder bursitis develops as a result of infection.

The main symptoms associated with bursitis are pain, swelling, excessive warmth and tenderness.

The diagnosis of the bursitis is done by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical examination where your arm is moved around to detect the location of pain. Inflammation can be detected under an MRI scan, whereas X-ray testing is helpful in identifying calcification in the bursae caused due to chronic or recurrent bursitis.

The treatment of shoulder bursitis depends upon the cause; whether it is due to infection, injury or disease. Noninfectious shoulder bursitis can be treated conservatively with cold compression using ice, rest, and medication for pain and inflammation. A corticosteroid can also be injected directly into the shoulder joint to relieve symptoms. Sometimes, your doctor may remove fluid from the bursae with the help of a syringe under sterile conditions (aspiration) and sends a sample for further analysis to the laboratory. Physical therapy is advised to increase the range-of-motion of your shoulder. Surgery may be suggested if conservative methods fail to relieve pain and inflammation but is very rare.

In case of infection, the causative agent is identified in the lab during aspiration, and appropriate antibiotics are prescribed. In severe cases, bursectomy or surgical drainage of the infected bursa may be performed.

Advanced Orthopedics
Advanced Orthopedics
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Houston Shoulder Specialists

Advanced Orthopedics and sports medicine has numerous Board Certified/Eligible physicians who are thoroughly educated in the latest treatment techniques both surgical and conservative. They are well versed in advances in shoulder treatments including arthroscopic rotator cuff and Bankart repairs, shoulder stabilization procedures, total shoulder replacement and reverse shoulder replacement.

Drs Elbaz and Brooks now perform Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections for the treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis, and biciptal tendonitis. PRP stimulates a more rapid healing of tendon, ligament, muscle and bone.

Contact us today to Schedule an Appointment or call us at 281-955-2650 to learn more about our Shoulder Treatment options.

Our Locations
  • 1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
  • 2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
  • 3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
  • 4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial

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