Bursae (two or more bursa) are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles surrounding your joints. They contain a lubricating fluid that reduces friction, allowing tissues
in the body to glide past each other smoothly. Imagine the bursa as a protective layer that helps keep a tendon or muscle from fraying or getting aggravated as it eases over a bone or around a
corner. Bursitis is a condition that occurs when a bursa becomes inflamed: irritated, red and filled with more fluid than normal.
Repetitive, vigorous movement, strenuous and unaccustomed activities that put pressure on a joint, or a blow or other injury can bring on bursitis. The cause can vary depending on where the bursitis
occurs. In the shoulder, for example, it can be brought on by excessive strain, such as from serving in tennis. Kneeling on a hard floor can cause bursitis of the knee, and similarly, repeatedly
resting the elbow on a hard surface (such as a desk) can cause bursitis in that joint. Arthritis, gout, and certain infections can also contribute to the problem. Bursitis, in fact, may signal the
onset of arthritis. While getting older isn't a cause of bursitis, older people, especially older athletes, are more likely to develop the condition.
Pain at the back of the heel at the attachment site of the Achilles tendon when running. Pain on palpation of the back of the heel or bottom of heel. Pain when standing on tiptoes. Swelling and
redness at the back and bottom of the heel.
The diagnosis is based on the symptoms and an examination. For anterior Achilles tendon bursitis, doctors use x-rays to rule out a fracture of the heel bone or damage to the heel bone caused by
rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory arthritis.
Non Surgical Treatment
Specific treatment for bursitis will be determined by your doctor based on your age, overall health, and medical history. Extent of the condition. Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures,
or therapies. Expectations for the course of the condition. Your opinion or preference. The treatment of any bursitis depends on whether or not it involves infection. Aseptic bursitis. A
noninfectious condition caused by inflammation resulting from local soft-tissue trauma or strain injury. Treatment may include R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Anti-inflammatory and
pain medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Aspiration of the bursa fluid for evaluation in the laboratory. Injection of cortisone into the affected area. Rest. Splints.
Bursectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove an inflamed or infected bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between tissues of the body. Because retrocalcaneal bursitis can
cause chronic inflammation, pain and discomfort, bursectomy may be used as a treatment for the condition when it is persistent and cannot be relived with other treatments. During this procedure, a
surgeon makes small incisions so that a camera may be inserted into the joint. This camera is called an arthroscope. Another small incision is made so that surgical instruments can be inserted to
remove the inflamed bursa.