How are acute exacerbations of regional and local bursitis and tendonitis treated?

Updated: Apr 04, 2018
  • Author: T P Sudha Rao, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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For acute exacerbations (first 24-48 h) of regional and local bursitis and tendonitis, the following treatments are used:

  • Rest
  • Immobilization
  • Ice
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Antibiotics for infection
  • Chronic pain treatment
  • Local heat
  • Tennis elbow strap for lateral epicondylitis
  • Padding for bursa and Achilles tendon involvement
  • Local injection of bursa or tendon with lidocaine and long-acting steroids for cases resistant to conservative therapy: Infection must be ruled out prior to the use of steroids, especially in patients with olecranon and prepatellar bursitis. Never inject into the Achilles tendon because of the risk of rupture.
  • Bursal aspiration and sometimes sclerosis with tetracycline
  • Assessment of home and workplace habits such as posture and repetitive motion

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