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Will the bursitis heal if the spur is not removed surgicaly?

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7 months ago, I suffered a fall which resulted in impact on my elbow tip. It has been painful and bursitis has developed over the past 2 months. I have had a plain xray done which shows an spiky olecranon spur where the bursitis is. I am wondering if the bursitis will ever heal if I do not get the spur removed surgically. Is it likely that the spur developed in response to the injury? What should my next step be? I am 50 yo female with pre-existing sarcoidosis (arthritic symptoms) for which I am currently taking Celebrex anti-inflammatories. Thankyou for your advice.
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

Bone spurs usually are caused due to inflammation, tendinitis, ageing process, arthritis etc. Its an extra bone formation and isn't really harmful other than causing pain.

The bursitis usually isn't the cause for this. Bursitis may have occurred due to the trauma you suffered several months ago. The spur may have been caused due to your history of arthritis.

Bone spurs which cause intense pain, restriction of movements etc., should be removed surgically. Bursistis is an inflammatory reaction of the bursa producing the swelling, which would be relieved once the spur or the cause is removed.

You should first be treated with a course of antibiotics and if there is no improvement then the surgical removal would be helpful depending on the present symptoms.

Hope this answers your query. In case of any doubts, I am available for the follow ups.

Wish you speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Will the bursitis heal if the spur is not removed surgicaly? 5 hours later
Thankyou for your helpful information.
I believed I had previously attached the xray for your consideration, but since you did not mention it, I am hoping you could view it now. I would appreciate it if you could confirm that the visible spur could possibly be the aggravating factor or indeed be the cause of my bursitis- (provided not from an infection). I do not wish to undergo any surgery if the bursitis is likely to heal on its own. However if it is unlikely to heal because of the spur, I would have this removed as soon as possible.

My earlier question was (which may have not been clear) - 'Is it likely that a bone spur grew in response to the fall/impact 7 months ago? ....which in turn became the cause of the bursitis?'
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 16 minutes later
Hello again,

Sorry, I previously hadn't seen the X- XXXXXXX but I saw it now.

Let me be clear. The bursitis was definitely due to the impact of the fall. That lead to swelling and fluid formation in the joint, causing bursitis.

If there was some bony injury to the elbow that time, then the spur may have been caused due to that. It also could be caused due to age related changes, arthritis etc. So one cannot be sure, if the spur was caused due to the injury or other causes.

I would stress again that treat the bursitis first. If there is no change in symptoms, then the spur will have to be treated also.

Since you are 50 and have history of sacrdoisis etc., I cannot confirm whether the spur was caused by injury or age related changes.

In short, the spur should cause much trouble but the bursitis can. So treat that first.

Hope this answers your query.

Wish you a speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Will the bursitis heal if the spur is not removed surgicaly? 18 hours later
I understand all that you have explained to me now, thankyou. I have one final question, could you tell me approximately how much time should I give the bursitis to heal, before taking any further action? Weeks/months/ year? Much appreciated.
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 5 minutes later

Thanks for the follow up.

Bursitis is an inflammatory condition. First a course of antibiotics and anti inflammatories should be given.

If the symptoms dont heal, then the fluid may need to be removed. If there is no improvement within a month or two(max) then you should repeat the xray and if required, have the spur operated upon.

Hope this answers your queries.

Wish you speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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