Bursae are fluid filled sacs that provide cushion between bones and tendons as well as muscles and joints. They are present throughout the body and are common cause of shoulder, knee and hip pain as well as less common areas of pain such as the buttocks, elbows and feet. Typically, it causes localized pain that can be reproduced by applying pressure to that specific area. This is worsened with activity and can make the joint associated with the bursa feel stiff and have pain as well.
Infection and/or inflammation leads to bursitis. If this is caused by an infection, the underlying cause must be treated by the appropriate antibiotic. This is an uncommon cause of bursitis. More often, acute trauma or chronic wear and tear can inflame the bursa causing pain. Initially, oral and/or topical anti-inflammatories are used along with rest, ice and elevation. At times, physical therapy can be helpful to increase mobilization of the affected area. More often than not, a steroid injection is needed to decrease the inflammation and therefore your pain. This can cure the problem even after a single injection. However, if this persists, removing of the bursa may be an option with regrowth of the bursa over several weeks without the inflammation.
Bursitis is a common pain generator. There have been cases where shoulder and/or knee surgery have been performed to replace the joint assuming that arthritis was the cause of the pain but instead it was from bursitis. Please make sure your treating provider has considered this a potential cause of your pain.