Olecranon Bursitis Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Sep 23, 2021
  • Author: J Michael Wieting, DO, MEd, FAOCPMR-D, FAAOE; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

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

  • Presence of infection - The most important consideration

  • Crystalline inflammatory arthropathy (eg, gout, pseudogout) - Gouty tophi may form in patients with advanced cases of gout

  • 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)

  • Triceps tendinitis/tear

  • Lipoma

Differential Diagnoses