Bursitis is a very common entity found in both community and professional athletes. It is caused by repetitive trauma to the knee, shoulder or elbow, but it can also be seen in the hip region and lower extremities (ankles).

Bursitis is caused by irritation to the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that may become swollen from repetitive rubbing or from minor traumatic events.

Pain and swelling are usually noticed immediately, however, other symptoms include limitation of motion, tenderness to touch and on occasion redness.

Initial treatment should consist of icing, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. If symptoms persist, a steroid injection may help reduce the pain and swelling. It is often recommended to cease those activities that cause irritation.

Redness, fever and/or worsening pain may be an indication of existing infection; if so, antibiotics may be warranted and in some cases surgical intervention may be recommended.

Fortunately, these conditions are usually self-limited and only require conservative short-term treatment. When swelling and pain subsides, you may resume activities gradually.