Shoulder Bursitis Specialist in New Jersey

Bursa are small, thin structures that are located throughout the body where friction may occur between skin and bones, tendons and bones, or ligaments and bones. Each bursa is essentially a glide plate for hard bone and soft tissues throughout the body’s major joints. Shoulder bursitis can be brought on by overuse, trauma, or infection, in which the shoulder will become inflamed and irritated. Treatments for bursitis are fairly simple, but can involve surgery if an infection is present.

Causes of Bursitis Shoulder

Repetitive or constant stress on the bursa will trigger the bursa to become inflamed. Chronic bursitis occurs “out of the blue”, but actually develops over time due to repetitive irritation in the past. Infected bursitis can be quite serious, and occurs when bacteria infects the bursae around a joint. It’s important to note that infected bursitis in the shoulder is extremely rare. The most common type of bursitis we see at NJOI in our athletes, both young and old, is called traumatic bursitis, or acute traumatic bursitis. This type of bursitis is brought on by repetitive rubbing of an extremity against a hard surface, or from too much bending of the joint.

Symptoms of Bursitis Shoulder

Depending on the severity of the bursitis, symptoms may vary. In chronic bursitis, the shoulder will constantly swell, even without pain or redness. Infected bursitis patients tend to feel excessive warmth at the location of the infected bursa, and tend to experience tenderness of the shoulder, as well as pain and fever. Swelling and redness may also spread down the arm. Traumatic bursitis will display immediate swelling, and usually will happen after an athlete hits their shoulder on a hard surface. Warmth and bruising may also accompany the swelling in these cases.

Treatment for Bursitis Shoulder in New Jersey

Treatments for noninfectious bursitis are quite straight forward. In both chronic and traumatic bursitis, an ice compression schedule of 2 to 3 times per day, for 20 minutes at a time, should be followed until swelling subsides. The use of anti-inflammatories and some range of motion exercise is encouraged as a treatment for chronic bursitis. Those suffering from infected bursitis will require immediate medical attention, and will usually begin treatment by aspirating the bursa to test the fluids for further infection. A routine of antibiotics, ice, and rest should be followed until swelling and inflammation improve. In dramatic instances, surgery may be performed to remove the infected bursa to prevent the infection from spreading into the blood. Traumatic bursitis, depending on the severity, is treated by aspirating the bursa that is inflamed, followed by ice routines and NSAIDs. It’s important for athletes who are recovering from bursitis to protect the area where the initial injury was suffered from when they return to their sport with elastic wraps and padding.

If you’ve recently suffered from an injury and feel pain and swelling in your shoulder, coming in to be seen by the staff at NJOI can help ease your pain and help get to the root of the issue. Our practice has 6 convenient locations throughout North and Central New Jersey. We have offices in Wayne, Clifton, Butler, Bridgewater, and Morristown. Call us at (973) 273-3431 to schedule an appointment and get on the road to recovery.

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Meet The Team

Vincent K. McInerney, M.D.


Founding member, Vincent K. McInerney, M.D., graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in 1977 with honors as one of the top medical students in his class.

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Anthony Festa, M.D.


Dr. Anthony Festa is an orthopaedic surgeon in his seventh year of practice at the New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute.

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Anthony J. Scillia, M.D.


Anthony J. Scillia M.D. is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with subspecialty certification in sports medicine.

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Robert M. Palacios, M.D.


Dr. Robert Palacios is board-certified and fellowship trained, and has been specializing in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine for over two decades.

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Craig Wright, M.D.


Craig Wright, MD joins New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute by way of Totowa, NJ where he was born and raised.

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John Callaghan, M.D.


John Callaghan, M.D. is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma specialist. His expertise encompasses the treatment of acute traumatic injuries.

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Other Locations

Wayne Office

504 Valley Rd. Ste 200 Wayne, NJ 07470

Butler Office

45 Carey Ave. Butler, NJ 07405

Morristown Office

111 Madison Ave. Ste 400 Morristown, NJ 07962

Bridgewater Office

720 Rte. 202-206 Bridgewater, NJ 08807

West-Milford Office

1900 Union Valley Rd Hewitt, NJ 07421