The treatment of any form of bursitis depends on whether or not it involves infection. Infection of a shoulder bursa is uncommon, and bursitis that develops there is usually from injury. Bursitis that is not infected (from injury or an underlying rheumatic disease) can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and antiinflammatory and pain medications . Occasionally, it requires aspiration of the bursa fluid. This procedure involves removal of the fluid with a needle and syringe under sterile conditions and can be performed in the doctor’s office. Sometimes the fluid is sent to the laboratory for further analysis. Noninfectious shoulder bursitis can also be treated with an injection of cortisone medication into the swollen bursa. This is sometimes done at the same time as the aspiration procedure. Physical therapy can sometimes be used to aid the recovery from bursitis, especially when it is accompanied by a frozen shoulder .
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I had an MRI in May. The images showed excessive fluid buildup and inflammation in the bursa, and a small incomplete tear in my rotator cuff. The tear is in line with the fibers of my cuff, much like a split in a seam. It’s unclear whether I had the tear before the shot or whether the shot caused it. I’d had no prior symptoms, and Annunziata says the shot might either have caused the tear – if the needle went into the cuff – or stirred up a prolonged inflammatory response in the area, causing the tear to become painful.