What is subacromial bursitis

Bursitis of the shoulder


At a Bursitis of the shoulder - also called bursitis - one of the bursa synovialis in the shoulder is inflamed. The shoulder has four main bursae:

  • Subacromial bursa
  • Subdeltoid bursa
  • Subcoracoid bursa
  • Subscapular subscapular bursa

This with Synovial fluid (Synovial fluid) filled tissue cushions act as a buffer and Sliding layer for tissues, muscles, tendons and bones of the shoulder.

If there is a bursitis in the shoulder, the bursae expand and fill with more fluid. The muscles and tendons sliding between the bursa and the bony structures of the shoulder are pinched, which is accompanied by severe pain. In addition, the shoulder can swell visibly in the case of bursitis.

Basically you can choose between a acute and one chronic bursitis can be distinguished in the shoulder. Typical of shoulder bursitis Pain and swelling usually occur very suddenly and violently in acute inflammation of the bursa. In chronic bursitis, they either last for a long time or keep coming back. In some cases, acute bursitis in the shoulder can turn into chronic bursitis, for example if the therapy was unsuccessful and the causative factors persist.

Causes of bursitis

Bursitis of the shoulder can have various causes. In most cases it is supported by a mechanical overload and overexertion of the bursa in the shoulder, such as when Sport or at work, caused. For example, people who do a lot of overhead work at work (e.g. painters) or do excessive sports that put a lot of stress on the arm (e.g. tennis, handball, badminton) are often affected by bursitis in the shoulder.

Other possible triggers for bursitis of the shoulder are diseases like this rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or tuberculosis. In addition, can also Infections cause bursitis with bacteria or other pathogens. For example, this is possible after an injury to the shoulder joint in which foreign objects or dirt have got into the shoulder joint. Shoulder diseases in which the bursa can become inflamed due to mechanical irritation include impingement syndrome, stiff shoulder and tears in the rotator cuff.

Symptoms of bursitis

Bursitis of the shoulder is typically accompanied by severe pain in the affected shoulder area. These can occur both when moving the shoulder and at rest, for example at night while sleeping. Because of the pain, the shoulder is in hers agility sometimes like that limited, that those affected can barely raise their arms properly.

In addition, there are often symptoms like one Swelling, redness, overheating and tenderness the skin overlying an inflamed bursa; fever is also possible. In acute bursitis of the shoulder, these symptoms usually appear suddenly, i.e. within a few hours or days. With chronic bursitis in the shoulder, on the other hand, these symptoms develop over a period of several weeks and months and get worse over time.

Diagnostic procedures

A bursitis in the shoulder is usually based on the Medical history and diagnosed the symptoms. During the physical examination, the doctor usually already recognizes the pain, restricted mobility and swelling typical of a bursitis of the shoulder.

In addition, you can imaging procedures as the

  • Ultrasound examination,
  • the X-ray examination and
  • magnetic resonance imaging

used to find the cause of the bursitis and the inflamed bursae to represent more precisely.

In addition, the bursa can also be punctured in order to remove the liquid afterwards in the laboratory examine. Bacteria, for example, can be identified as possible causes.

Treatment of bursitis

Treatment of bursitis in the shoulder is usually done with conservative therapeutic measures. If the inflammation is acute, the temporary one is usually sufficient Rest and rest the affected shoulder. This causes the inflamed bursae to swell and heal on their own. In the case of persistent or chronic bursitis, the Cold therapy and inflammatory and pain reliever medication Find application to inhibit the inflammatory processes and relieve pain.

Other conservative treatment approaches for bursitis of the shoulder include the so-called Shock wave therapy or physiotherapy to maintain joint mobility and to prevent muscle wasting. Bursitis of the shoulder caused by bacteria is also treated with antibiotics.

If these conservative measures cannot or only insufficiently combat the complaints, surgical procedures such as the Bursectomy come into use. In the bursectomy, the inflamed Bursa arthroscopically as part of a keyhole surgery away.