Swelling at the elbow joint is a primary symptom of olecranon bursitis in the elbow. The olecranon bursa is located at the outside tip of the elbow and allows soft tissue to rub over bone.
Repeated trauma or resting weight on the elbow may irritate the olecranon bursa and cause it to inflame and swell. In addition, an underlying arthritic condition such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or pseudogout can also cause olecranon bursitis.
Pain may or may not present in patients with olecranon bursitis, and patients typically retain full range of elbow joint motion, unlike the limited movement that affects the joints in hip bursitis and shoulder bursitis.