Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Bursitis Elbow Anatomy

To better understand elbow bursitis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the elbow joint.

The elbow consists of three bones:

  • Humerus:
    • The large, long bone in the upper arm
    • The two prominent areas of the humerus on the inside and outside of the elbow are referred to as the epicondyles.
    • The muscles that raise the wrist and hand attach to the lateral epicondyle.
    • Muscles that flex the wrist attach to the medial epicondyle.
  • Radius:
    • One of the long bones in the forearm
  • Ulna:
    • One of the long bones in the forearm

These three bones are bonded together by strong bands, called ligaments. The ligaments, muscles and tendons keep the bones of the elbow together during movement.

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bursitis Elbow References
  1. Choudhery V. The role of diagnostic needle aspiration in olecranon bursitis. J Accid Emerg Med. 1999 Jul;16(4):282-3. [10417940]
  2. Floemer F, Morrison WB, Bongartz G, Ledermann HP. MRI characteristics of olecranon bursitis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Jul;183(1):29-34. [15208103]
  3. Stell IM. Septic and non-septic olecranon bursitis in the accident and emergency department--an approach to management. J Accid Emerg Med. 1996 Sep;13(5):351-3. [889486]
  4. Stewart NJ, Manzanares JB, Morrey BF. Surgical treatment of aseptic olecranon bursitis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1997 Jan-Feb;6(1):49-54. [9071682]
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