What is Bursitis?

A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac found near a joint or tendon.  The function of a bursa is to protect the area from pressure or friction.  Bursitis is an inflammation of the small fluid-filled sac.  Usually, a bursa can become inflamed because of constant pressure and friction from footwear.  Common areas of bursitis in the foot is over a bunion, tailors bunion (bunionette), back of the heel (retrocalcaneal bursitis) or under the heel bone (infracalcaneal bursitis).


What are Symptoms of Bursitis?

  • Localized pain and swelling
  • Localized redness


How is Bursitis Diagnosed?

  • Bursitis is usually diagnosed by palpation and range of motion of the affected area.
  • If bursitis has been chronic, X-ray may show localized calcification in the bursa
  • Although unnecessary, MRI can also be used as a diagnostic study.


How is Bursitis Treated?

Treatment of bursitis may include:

  • Ice the affected area
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen
  • Padding the affected area to prevent pressure and friction on the area
  • Corticosteroid injection may be used to help reduce pain and inflammation
  • If conservative treatment fails, surgery may be needed to address the problem