Bursitis risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sara Mehrsefat, M.D. [2]


Common risk factors in the development of bursitis include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, pseudogout, cellulitis, diabetes mellitus, use of systemic glucocorticoids, alcoholism, malignancy, and leukopenia. Additionally, having a hobby or job that involves repetitive motions such as bicycling, playing baseball, gardening, or setting tiles may lead to bursitis.[1]

Risk Factors

Common risk factors in the development of aseptic bursitis include:[1]

Common risk factors in the development of septic bursitis include:[1]

Anatomic Location

Based on anatomic location, common risk factors in the development of bursitis include:

Type of Bursitis Risk Factores
Subacromial bursitis
  • Repetitive activities involving reaching overhead with the arm lifting
  • Falling on the shoulder (can irritate the bursa near the rotator cuff)
Olecranon bursitis
  • Repetitively bending and extending the elbow
  • Vacuuming
  • Playing tennis or baseball
Trochanteric bursitis
  • Prolonged standing or sitting (especially on a bicycle seat)
Prepatellar bursitis
Retrocalcaneal bursitis
  • Improper footwear (e.g., high heel shoes)
  • Overuse in sports like ice-skating
  • Prolonged walking


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 McAfee JH, Smith DL (1988). "Olecranon and prepatellar bursitis. Diagnosis and treatment". West J Med. 149 (5): 607–10. PMC 1026560. PMID 3074561.

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