A ‘bursa’ is a normal anatomical structure. It is a collection of fluid found over parts of the body that may be frequently exposed to physical pressure, such as over the knee cap (prepatella bursa) or over the point of the elbow (olecranon bursa). The bursa can be thought of as a small ‘lubricant bag’ that cushions parts of the body, and allows the skin to glide smoothly as the joint is moved.

Bursitis – is inflammation of this bursa. It can result from excessive pressure (eg excessive kneeling such as in a carpet layer) or actual infections (bacteria may get into a bursa and cause infections after skin cuts or abrasions). These result in pain and dysfunction, and may cause the patient to be unwell if an infection reaches an underlying joint or spreads into the body.

Treatment of bursitis aims to reduce the symptoms (such as by the use of anti-inflammatory medications) and treat any possible infections (this usually needs antibiotics, and for severe cases may require surgery). Dr Ihsheish can assess and provide the appropriate management, although for severe cases the patient is advised to present to the local hospital for assesment.