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What Is Bursitis of the Shoulder? The Experts at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, Explain

Throughout the body, there are a number of small, fluid-filled sacs located near joints. These sacs, known as bursae, help reduce friction in the joints. However, the sacs can sometimes become inflamed – typically as a result of an injury or infection. Inflammation of a bursa is known as bursitis, and this condition is particularly common in the shoulder.

What causes shoulder bursitis?

Several different things can trigger shoulder bursitis. Common causes include:

  • Repetitive throwing motions
  • Lifting heavy objects over the head using improper form
  • A fall onto a shoulder
  • A staph infection

Acute vs. chronic bursitis

Bursitis can be either acute (temporary and not likely to recur) or chronic (lasting for several months or more and prone to coming back). In both instances, patients typically experience symptoms such as:

  • Swelling
  • Shoulder pain
  • Trouble moving a shoulder
  • A warm or tingling sensation in an affected arm

Usually, high-dose anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve these symptoms. If the condition is caused by an infection, antibiotics can also help. In some instances, corticosteroid injections may also be recommended. Patients are often advised to rest and modify their activities to avoid any movements that make the pain worse.

Bursitis surgery

It’s not often that shoulder bursitis requires surgical treatment, but if conservative therapies don’t adequately relieve symptoms, a surgeon may remove inflamed tissue from the joint. This procedure can often be performed using minimally invasive techniques.

At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, we offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for shoulder bursitis. You can consult with a shoulder injury specialist to determine the best approach for your specific needs.

Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with bursitis or have just started to notice unusual symptoms, you can turn to Advanced Orthopaedics for comprehensive diagnostics and treatment. To request an appointment with our experienced orthopedists, contact us today.