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Arch Intern Med 1989 Nov;149(11):2527-2530

Treatment of nonseptic olecranon bursitis. A controlled, blinded prospective trial.

Smith DL, McAfee JH, Lucas LM, Kumar KL, Romney DM

Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland.

We enrolled 42 patients with nonseptic olecranon bursitis in a double-blind prospective treatment trial to compare the efficacy of an intrabursal steroid preparation with that of an oral anti-inflammatory agent. Patients were randomized into one of four treatment regimens: (1) methylprednisolone acetate (20 mg) intrabursal injection and oral naproxen (1 g/d for 10 days), (2) methylprednisolone acetate (20 mg) intrabursal injection and oral placebo for 10 days, (3) oral naproxen (1 g/d for 10 days), and (4) oral placebo for 10 days. The degree of swelling in millimeters was assessed at study introduction and at 1, 3, and 6 weeks. At 6 months, the number of patients requiring reaspiration for bursitis recurrence was tabulated. Data at 1 week indicated that patients treated with an intrabursal methylprednisolone acetate injection (20 mg) demonstrat ed the most rapid decrease in swelling. At 6 weeks, the methylprednisolone-treated groups demonstrated sustained improvement. At 6 months, the mean number of reaspirations per patient for reaccumulation of bursal fluid was higher in groups 3 (1.0 +/- 1.2) and 4 (0.4 +/- 0.7). An intrabursal methylprednisolone acetate 20-mg injection seems to be the most effective treatment regimen for nonseptic olecranon bursitis.

Ann Rheum Dis 1984 Feb;43(1):44-46

Long-term follow-up of corticosteroid injection for traumatic olecranon bursitis.

Weinstein PS, Canoso JJ, Wohlgethan JR

Forty-seven patients with traumatic olecranon bursitis were evaluated after a mean follow-up of 31 months (range 6 to 62 months). Twenty-two patients treated with bursal aspiration had delayed recovery and no complications of therapy. Twenty-five patients treated with intrabursal injection of 20 mg of triamcinolone hexacetonide had rapid recovery, usually within one week, but suffered complications such as infection (3 cases), skin atrophy (5 cases), and chronic local pain (7 cases). Since spontaneous resolution can be expected, a conservative approach is suggested in the treatment of traumatic olecranon bursitis.

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