Olecranon septic bursitis managed in an ambulatory setting

K. B. Laupland, H. Dele Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: The epidemiology, outcome and management of olecranon septic bursitis (OSB) have not been described in a large cohort of ambulatory patients. Methods: A retrospective study of all 118 cases of OSB presenting over 21 months to all regional Home Parenteral Therapy Program clinics in Calgary (referral base approximately 1 million). Results: The minimum population annual incidence was 10/100 000. The mean (and standard deviation) age was 44 (13) years, and males predominated (88%). One-third of patients had at least one comorbid illness, with preceding injury in 53% of cases. The most common symptoms were pain (87%), redness (77%) and fever or chills (45%). Common signs included erythema (92%), swelling (85%), edema (75%), tenderness (59%), fluctuance (50%), heat (36%) and reduced range of motion (27%). Fever (body temperature of ≥37.8°C) occurred in 20%. Staphylococcus aureus was identified in 88% of culture-proven cases of OBS. The most common antibiotic regimen was sequential intravenous administration of cefazolin (for a median of 4 d) followed by clindamycin orally (for a median of 8 d). Sixty (51%) patients required a drainage procedure and only 1 patient required admission to hospital. Conclusion: OSB is more common than reported and can be treated successfully in ambulatory settings with sequential intravenous therapy followed by oral therapy and drainage in selected cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Investigative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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