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Ultrasonographic findings in patients with olecranon bursitis.

BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal ultrasonography (U.S.) is an important imaging technique in the diagnosis of olecranon bursitis, especially for early manifestation. It allows sensitive detection of small fluid collections as well as for differentiation between soft tissue and bone lesions. U.S. examination allows detection of effusions, synovial proliferation, calcifications, loose bodies, rheumatoid nodules, gout tophi and septic processes.

AIM: To assess the role of ultrasonography in the diagnosis and management of patients with olecranon bursitis.

METHODS: Ultrasound was used in 34 patients with swelling above the olecranon. The opposite asymptomatic side served as a control group.

RESULTS: 20 patients demonstrated increased fluid collection in the olecranon bursa. 5 had synovial proliferation, 2 cases showed loose body, 5 patients revealed markedly increased blood flow consistent with inflammation, 2 patients had triceps tendonitis with calcifications.

CONCLUSIONS: Sonography is an extremely effective tool for the diagnosis of soft tissue lesions in the olecranon area.

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