Sports Medicine SelfCareNavigator:
Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis

When To Call Your Doctor for Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis

Call 911 or call your doctor right away (day or night) if:

  • You have redness and warmth over the tip of your elbow or in the surrounding skin.
  • You have a fever associated with swelling over the tip or back of your elbow, especially if your elbow is red or warm.  
  • You have a puncture or a cut in the skin over the swollen bursa.
  • You fell on your elbow or had another injury to your elbow that caused immediate pain and swelling.
  • You have problems bending or flexing your elbow or doing so causes severe pain.

Call your doctor during regular office hours if you have the following symptoms that don’t improve with two or three weeks of self-care:

  • swelling over the tip or back of your elbow that does not occur along with a fever or significant redness or warmth  
  • mild-to-moderate pain over the tip of your elbow that developed slowly and not after a fall or other injury
  • painless swelling over the tip of your elbow that does not get better after two or three weeks of self-care.

Last reviewed: October 2007
Last revised: October 2007

CU Dept of Obstetrics and Gynecology LogoFavorably reviewed by The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

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