Septic Bursitis

septic bursitis

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Septic Bursitis


Septic bursitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and infection of a bursa, the small fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between bones, tendons and skin.  When bacteria or other pathogens invade the bursa, it leads to an inflammatory response and infection within the sac.

Bursae are small, thin, slippery sacs filled with lubricating fluid.  They are located near joints throughout the body and help decrease friction between bone and soft tissues.  For example, at the heel, the retrocalcaneal bursa serves as a lubricating cushion between the foot’s calcaneal bone and the Achilles tendon.

Septic bursitis is most likely to occur in bursae that lie just below the skin, such as the prepatellar bursa at the kneecap and the olecranon bursa at the tip of the elbow.  These bursae are called superficial bursae.


  • Localized Pain: Pain, tenderness, or discomfort at the site of the infected bursa.
  • Swelling and Redness: Inflammation, swelling, warmth and redness around the affected area.
  • Limited Mobility: Difficulty moving the joint near the infected bursa due to pain and swelling.
  • Systemic Symptoms: In severe cases, fever, chills and general malaise might be present.

What Are the Causes of Septic Bursitis?

Some conditions and medications can weaken the immune system and hinder the body’s circulatory function.  This, in turn, makes individuals more susceptible to developing septic bursitis.  This includes people who are living with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Joint overuse and infection from rheumatoid arthritis may also lead to bursitis.

These areas will be very characteristic of infection signs and you need to seek medical attention swiftly.  For more information on this, click here.

Are you suffering from any foot condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
Book an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000


We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



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Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.