Olecranon Bursitis Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Aug 20, 2020
  • Author: J Michael Wieting, DO, MEd, FAOCPMR, FAAOE; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

If there is a history of trauma, elbow pain during active or passive ROM may increase the clinician's suspicion of fracture of the olecranon process. Other conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of olecranon bursitis include the following:

  • Crystalline inflammatory arthropathy (eg, gout, pseudogout)

  • Fracture of the olecranon process of the ulna

  • Synovial cyst of the elbow joint

  • Olecranon traction osteophyte (with or without avulsion)

  • Olecranon spur (usually without joint effusion)

  • Presence of infection (the most important consideration)

  • Triceps tendinitis/tear

  • Lipoma

Differential Diagnoses