Superficial septic bursitis is common, although accurate incidence data are lacking. The olecranon and prepatellar bursae are the sites most often affected. Whereas the clinical diagnosis of superficial bursitis is readily made, differentiating aseptic from septic bursitis usually requires examination of aspirated bursal fluid. Ultrasonography is useful both for assisting in the diagnosis and for guiding the aspiration. Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for 80% of cases of superficial septic bursitis. Deep septic bursitis is uncommon and often diagnosed late. The management of septic bursitis varies considerably across centers, notably regarding the use of surgery. Controlled trials are needed to establish standardized recommendations regarding antibiotic treatment protocols and the indications of surgery.
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