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Bursa (anatomy)

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Title: Bursa (anatomy)  
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Bursa (anatomy)

Synovial Bursa
Within the knee joint: bursae visible top right and bottom right
Typical joint
Latin bursa synovialis
Gray's subject #68 283
MeSH Bursa,+Synovial

A bursa (plural bursae) is a small fluid-filled sac lined by synovial membrane with an inner capillary layer of viscous fluid (similar in consistency to that of a raw egg white). It provides a cushion between bones and tendons and/or muscles around a joint. This helps to reduce friction between the bones and allows free movement. Bursae are filled with synovial fluid and are found around most major joints of the body.


Bursa is Latin for purse, so named for the resemblance of an anatomical bursa to a purse. Bursae is its plural form.


There are four types of bursa: adventitious, subcutaneous, synovial, and sub-muscular. Among these, only adventitious is non-native. When any surface of the body is subjected to repeated stress, an adventitious bursa develops under it. Examples are Students' elbow and bunion.


Infection or irritation of a bursa leads to bursitis (inflammation of a bursa). The general term for disease of bursae is "bursopathy". Current medical studies have no specific knowledge of the entire bursae system.

See also

External links

  • Image
  • Diagram of elbow with olecranon bursa (broken link?)
  • GPnotebook
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