bursitis (bərsĪˈtəs) [key], acute or chronic inflammation of a bursa, or fluid sac, located close to a joint. In response to irritation or injury the bursa may become inflamed, causing pain, restricting motion, and producing more fluid than can be absorbed readily. An attack of bursitis usually causes great pain and tenderness in the affected area. Common areas of involvement include the shoulder and big toe (see bunion). Depending on the cause and the degree of involvement, bursitis is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, corticosteroids, and immobility until the pain subsides. Superficial bursas, not necessary to the function of a joint, or bursas that have become calcified, may be excised.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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