Olecranon Bursitis


Olecranon bursitis or student’s elbow is an inflammation, filling of the olecranon bursa on the point of the elbow.

As a result of injury, the lining of the bursa becomes inflamed. It then secretes a much greater than normal amount of fluid into the bursa. The bursa therefore inflates, producing the characteristic bump and pain of olecranon bursitis.

It is caused by:

  • Single traumatic event on the point of your elbow.
  • Repeated trauma for e.g. falling on to hard surfaces on your elbow.
  • Repetitive resting of elbows on hard surfaces.
  • Leaning on hard surfaces for e.g. walls etc.


Common symptoms include:

  • A large swollen lump on the point of the elbow.
  • If selling is large enough, restriction of movement.
  • Pain on the point of the elbow that can travel down the arm.


Physiotherapy treatment consists of:

  • Stop the stressful activities on the elbow.
  • Emphasis on firm compression of the elbow.
  • Regaining normal range of movement.

At times if the condition is severe enough you may need a GP management.