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Olecranon Bursa

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Anatomy of the olecranon bursa[1]
  • Only bursa of the elbow joint
  • Lies between:
  • Description[2][3]
    • Floor: triceps brachii tendon and olecranon
    • Roof: in contact with the overlying subcutaneous tissue
    • Thin walled sac lined with synovium
    • Under normal circumstances, contains only a very small amount of fluid
  • Development[4]
    • Develops between the ages of 7 and 10
  • Extra-articular!


  • Function is to create frictionless motion between
    • Triceps brachii tendon and olecranon process deep to the bursa
    • Soft tissue superficial to it during elbow motion.

Vascular Supply

  • Network of vessels and branches of the brachial artery (need citation)


Clinical Significance

See Also


  1. Image courtesy of https://www.rehabmypatient.com/, "Elbow (olecranon) bursitis"
  2. Fowler KA, Chung CB. Normal MR imaging anatomy of the elbow. (2004) Magnetic resonance imaging clinics of North America. 12 (2): 191-206, v. doi:10.1016/j.mric.2004.02.004 - Pubmed
  3. Ecker J, Ebert JR, Taheri A, Mathew RK, Chee DY, Breidahl W. The existence of cords in olecranon bursae. (2015) Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery. 24 (10): e292-5. doi:10.1016/j.jse.2015.04.016 - Pubmed
  4. Reilly D, Kamineni S. Olecranon bursitis. (2016) Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery. 25 (1): 158-67. doi:10.1016/j.jse.2015.08.032 - Pubmed
Created by:
John Kiel on 30 October 2023 14:25:18
Last edited:
30 October 2023 14:38:33