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Which Joints Are Affected by Bursitis?

Which Joints Are Affected by Bursitis?

Your joints are complex. Each joint contains bones, muscles, and tendons that give your body motion, along with cartilage and fluid-filled sacs called bursae that keep each part moving smoothly.

Healthy bursae cushion your joints, but just like any other part of your body, they’re susceptible to injury and infection. In fact, inflamed bursae are a top cause of joint pain — a condition called bursitis.

Bursitis can affect almost any joint, and it’s particularly common in larger ones. If you’ve noticed joint pain, swelling, or stiffness, schedule an appointment with our team at Manhattan Orthopedics. We specialize in joint health, and we’re here to help you find out if it could be bursitis.

All joints are at risk of bursitis…

You use your joints countless times a day, whether you’re at work or at play. Over time, repetitive stress and overuse can trigger inflammation and injury, making your joints stiff and painful.

… but it’s most common in large joints

Since every joint has bursae, every joint is susceptible to bursitis. However, it’s most common in the major joints of your arms and legs, including:

In the arm, the shoulder and elbow are most likely to develop bursitis. Activities like lifting your arm above your head can trigger bursitis, especially if your work or hobbies necessitate repetitive motions.

In the leg, hip bursitis and knee bursitis are quite common. The joints in your legs bear your body weight when you stand and walk, and repetitive movement can contribute to irritation. Sleeping on your side may contribute to hip bursitis, while repetitive knee-bending could increase your risk of knee bursitis.

Finally, bursitis is a common cause of heel pain. People who are frequently physically active may be more likely to develop heel bursitis, which can make standing and walking quite painful.

Your bursitis treatment options

No matter which joint bursitis affects, the symptoms can be similar. Common symptoms include:

If these symptoms sound familiar, our team at Manhattan Orthopedics can help.

We start with a comprehensive joint evaluation and full review of your symptoms. Then, we order additional testing, like diagnostic X-rays or ultrasound, if needed to confirm your diagnosis.

Rest and activity modification can be effective for mild cases of bursitis. If your symptoms are significantly impacting your daily life, cortisone injections, platelet-rich plasma treatment, or physical therapy may accelerate healing. In rare cases, our team may recommend arthroscopic surgery to remove inflamed bursae and reduce your symptoms.

Bothered by a joint that’s stiff and painful? Come to Manhattan Orthopedics to find relief. Contact us online, or call to schedule your first appointment.

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