Bursitis normally develops as a result either of a single injury to the elbow (e.g., a hard blow to the tip of the elbow), or more commonly due to repeated minor injuries and if a person’s job involves a repetitive movement, also the possibility of developing the condition is more common as a person gets older.
The bursa behind the olecranon process is liable to traumatic bursitis, septic bursitis and gout. In student’s elbow or baker’s elbow the bursa is distended with clear fluid. Initial treatment should be by aspiration followed by the injection of hydrocortisone into the bursa. If the swelling recurs the bursa should be excised.
A patient complains of numbness or tingling in the ulnar distribution, and often of clumsiness in performing fine finger movements.
Whenever the ulnar nerve is interfered with by a lesion at the elbow, operation should be undertaken to transpose the nerve to a new bed in front of the joint, where it will be free from pressure or friction.
Movement of the Elbow
The elbow joint has two distinct components: the hinge joint between the humerus above and the ulna and radius below, allowing flexion extension movement; and the pivot joint between the upper ends of the radius and ulna, allowing rotation of the forearm.