Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Shoulder Bursitis Overview

What is shoulder bursitis?
A person with shoulder bursitis has inflammation of a bursa near the shoulder joint. A bursa is a small sac that is filled with very slippery fluid. The bursa acts as a lubricating pad between a tendon and bone. One common type of shoulder bursitis is subacromial bursitis. This condition is caused by inflammation of the bursa that is located below the acromion process. The most common causes of shoulder bursitis include should injuries and overuse.

What are the symptoms of shoulder bursitis?
Symptoms of shoulder bursitis include shoulder pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness.

How does the doctor treat shoulder bursitis?
Treatment for shoulder bursitis may include rest, a sling, cold compresses, physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or narcotic pain medications. Additional treatment for shoulder bursitis may include corticosteroid medication injections, removal of fluid from the bursa, or surgery.

Continue to Shoulder Bursitis Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Shoulder Bursitis References
  1. Gutierrez G, Burroughs M, Poddar S. Clinical inquiries. Does injection of steroids and lidocaine in the shoulder relieve bursitis? J Fam Pract. 2004 Jun;53(6):488-92. [15189724]
  2. Hanchard NC, Howe TE, Gilbert MM. Diagnosis of shoulder pain by history and selective tissue tension: agreement between assessors. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2005 Mar;35(3):147-53. [15839308]
  3. Ishii H, Brunet JA, Welsh RP, Uhthoff HK. Bursal reactions in rotator cuff tearing, the impingement syndrome, and calcifying tendinitis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1997 Mar-Apr;6(2):131-6. [9144600]
  4. LeNoir JL. Subacromial-subdeltoid bursitis of the shoulder. Orthop Rev. 1986 Nov;15(11):730-2. [3453917]
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