Wrist Bursitis

Wrist Bursitis

A bursa is a small sack of fluid that lubricates where tendons move in joints. If the bursa is subjected to repeated trauma or friction then it can become inflamed and swollen causing pain in the wrist.

Symptoms

Pain in the wrist, especially when the wrist is bent back or weight is put through it. A small lump or swelling may be seen in the top of the wrist which will be tender and warm to touch.

Bursitis explained

Bursa's are found all over the body, in places where soft tissues may rub against each other or the underlying bone.They affect people who tend to put a lot of weight on their hands for example cyclists.

There are two bursas in the wrist;  the radial bursa and the ulna bursa. The radial bursa surrounds the flexor pollicis longus tendon on the thumb and palm sides of the wrist. The ulna bursa surrounds the tendons of the flexor digitorum superficialis and profundes muscles, more centrally in the palm side of the wrist.

Bursitis can be caused by a sudden impact, or more regularly by repeated movements and is a form of repetitive strain injury (RSI). The bursa becomes inflamed and swollen due to repetitive friction.

Treatment

Rest and apply cold therapy if it is acute or painful. Use a compression bandage to help reduce swelling.

A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. Ultrasound therapy may be used to help reduce pain and inflammation. In more severe cases the bursa can be aspirated where a needle is inserted to suck out the fluid, although it is possible the bursa will return. Bursitis usually dies down after a week or so if it is left to recover.

Related Articles
RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury

RSI or repetitive strain injury is a general term rather than a specific diagnosis used to describe gradual onset pain usually in the forearm, wrist and hand.

Wrist Tendonitis

Wrist tendonitis or wrist tendinopathy is inflammation or more likely degeneration of any of the flexor or extensor tendons which cross the wrist joint.

Bruised Wrist

A bruised wrist is also known as a wrist contusion. This occurs after an impact to the wrist which causes bleeding under the skin.

Sprained Wrist

A sprained wrist is an injury to any of the ligaments which connect bone to bone in the wrist of which there are many.