Shoulder Bursitis

The Shoulder Center
at Modern Orthopedics of New Jersey

Experience Top Orthopedic Care
Schedule Now

Book an appointment to meet with a Board Certified Orthopedic Physician.


72 Route 17 North
Paramus, NJ 07652


2025 Hamburg Turnpike
STE C, Wayne, NJ 07470


3799 US-46
#207, Parsippany, NJ 07054

If you have unexplained swelling, redness, tenderness, or stiffness in your shoulder joint, you may be experiencing Shoulder Bursitis—one of the leading causes of shoulder pain. Bursae are tiny, fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between tendons, muscles, and bones in joints throughout the body. They are the layer in between tendons and the surrounding tissues to keep the tendons gliding smoothly.  When they become irritated or inflamed, bursitis is the result.

Below, learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for bursitis of the shoulder:

What Is Shoulder Bursitis?

Shoulder Bursitis (sometimes referred to as subacromial bursitis or rotator cuff tendinitis) occurs when there is inflammation at the bursa. It is the most common form of bursitis and can lead to painful swelling that impacts range of motion. Shoulder bursitis can be an acute or chronic condition, with chronic bursitis usually stemming from repeated incidents of acute bursitis.

Defining Shoulder Bursitis and Its Causes

Shoulder Bursitis is most often caused by overuse. Repetitive shoulder movements, especially repetitive lifting and overhead activities, are common triggers. For these reasons, the condition often impacts painters, carpenters, and athletes in sports like baseball and football.

Sometimes, Shoulder Bursitis can also result from a high-impact injury or accident (traumatic bursitis of the shoulder) and, in rare cases, may be linked to infection. If you are experiencing a fever in addition to shoulder pain and swelling, seek medical care immediately.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Shoulder Bursitis

The symptoms of Shoulder Bursitis may vary depending on the severity and type of bursitis you are experiencing. They can include:

  • Swelling, redness, and/or warmth in the shoulder area
  • Stiffness
  • Painful range of motion
  • Sharp pain that is exacerbated by overhead movements
  • Increased pain when lying on the affected shoulder

Diagnosing Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder Bursitis can often be diagnosed with a physical examination alone, but your doctor may also recommend further diagnostic tests.

Diagnostic Procedures for Shoulder Bursitis

  • An ultrasound or MRI procedure can identify swollen bursae that may be the cause of your pain.
  • An X-ray may be used to screen for other potential causes of shoulder joint pain (such as rheumatoid arthritis or bone spurs).
  • If infected bursitis is suspected, your doctor may aspirate your shoulder joint to test the fluid inside your bursae.

Shoulder Bursitis Treatments

Your treatment plan for Shoulder Bursitis will depend on a variety of factors, including the type and severity of the condition as well as your activity level and health goals. Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available.

Non-Surgical and Surgical Treatments for Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder Bursitis is often treated using non-invasive approaches like rest, immobilization (sometimes with a shoulder brace), ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Building up the health of the tendons at the shoulder can help it heal and keep it from returning.  This can be physical therapy or home exercise.  It can sometimes take a long time for this condition to heal, so patience is key. If inflammation and discomfort are ongoing, steroid injections may be used to further reduce swelling and increase range of motion.

Surgical treatment for Shoulder Bursitis may be indicated in severe or chronic cases. An arthroscopic procedure can remove damaged tissue to create more room for tendons and bones to move without causing irritation to the bursae.

Contact Us Now for a Personalized Treatment Plan

Wondering how best to treat Shoulder Bursitis? The world-class team of surgeons at Modern Orthopaedics of New Jersey can provide you with a personalized treatment plan that will offer you the best road to recovery. To book your appointment, contact us directly today!

Prevention and Prognosis of Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder Bursitis often resolves without surgical intervention but may flare up again and again. To prevent chronic Shoulder Bursitis, give your shoulder joint plenty of rest and avoid repetitive shoulder movements that may irritate it. Stretching and warming up properly before physical activity is also recommended, as is wearing a shoulder brace, as warranted.

 Our Awarded

Peter DeNoble, MD

Peter DeNoble, MD, FAAOS

Hand, Wrist, Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

David Ratliff, MD, FAAOS

David Ratliff, MD, FAAOS

Hand, Wrist, Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

David Ratliff, MD, FAAOS

Alejandro Morales-Restrepo, MD

Hand, Wrist, Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

Recent awards

A Different Orthopedic Experience.


Treatment Diversity

We offer a comprehensive range of treatments, ensuring personalized, targeted plans for every patient.


Collaborative Care

Our multi-disciplinary approach involves various specialties to provide comprehensive care and recovery.


Patient Focus

We prioritize patient comfort and satisfaction, creating a supportive environment for optimal healing.


Technological Excellence

We utilize cutting-edge technology for precise diagnosis and innovative treatment options.


Skilled Experts

Our team is composed of highly skilled, experienced orthopedic professionals, providing expert care.


Post-Treatment Support

Our robust post-treatment support ensures ongoing patient care through recovery and rehabilitation services.

Orthopedic Doctors New Jersey

About Us

Modern Orthopaedics specializes in conditions and treatments of the shoulder, elbow, hand/wrist, hip, knee and foot/ankle with locations in Wayne, Parsippany, and Paramus, NJ.


Our Locations