New York State Medical Treatment Guidelines for Bursitis in workers compensation patients

The guidelines formulated by the New York State Workers Compensation Board aim to aid physicians, and other healthcare professionals in delivering suitable treatment for Bursitis.

Designed for healthcare professionals, these Workers Compensation Board guidelines offer assistance in determining the proper level of care for individuals with Bursitis.

It is crucial to note that these guidelines do not replace clinical judgement or professional experience. The ultimate decision regarding care should be a collaborative one made by the patient in consultation with their healthcare provider.



Inflammation of bursa tissue. Can be precipitated by tendinitis, bone spurs, foreign bodies, gout, arthritis, muscle tears, or infection.


Mechanism of Injury

May be caused by sudden change in work habits, frequent repetitive motions in non-routine work profile, postural changes, contusion, frequent climbing, soft tissue trauma, fracture, continuous work on uneven surfaces, sustained compression force.


Specific Physical Findings

Palpable, tender and enlarged bursa, decreased range of motion, warmth. May have increased pain with range of motion.


Diagnostic Testing Procedures

Bursal Fluid Aspiration
Recommended – in select patients as clinically indicated.
Indications: May be obtained in patients with need for testing for connective tissue disorders, rheumatic disease, and infection.


Radiographs, CT, MRI

Not Recommended


Non-Operative Treatment

Rest/restricted activity, off-loading with crutches or cane, NSAIDs, APAP, that may be followed by active and/or passive therapy, ice, therapeutic injection, treatment of an underlying infection, if present.
Recommended – in select patients as clinically indicated.


Operative Treatment

Surgical Excision of the Bursa
Recommended – in select patients as clinically indicated.
Indications: bursa excision after failure of conservative therapy


Post-Operative Therapy

Recommended – in select patients as clinically indicated.



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