Adventitial (Adventitious) Bursa

What is an Adventitial (Adventitious) Bursa

An adventitial bursa are those bursae (fluid filled sacks) that develop later in life.

Adventitial bursitis is a result of irritation to this fluid filled sacks

What Causes an Adventitial (Adventitious) Bursa and Bursitis

Adventitial bursa are thought to be caused from increased pressure and fiction, typically occuring over bony prominences. This friction and pressure can be increased with:

  • Non- Supportive footwear
  • Flat arched feet
  • High arched feet
  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Trauma
  • Being overweight
  • Connective tissue disorders (Rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis)

Diagnosis of an Adventitial (Adventitious) Bursa and Bursitis

Diagnosis is generally made with specific signs and symptoms – when the pain occurs and the location.

At the Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre we are able to provide additional information about the presence of of an adventitial bursa with ultrasound imaging.

Inflammation of the bursa presents as an enlargement of the bursa (see below)

Ultrasound Image Adventitial Bursa

Ultrasound Image Adventitial Bursa




Treatment of Retrocalcaneal Bursitis

Treatment aims to reduce the inflammation of the bursa and prevent it from returning by offloading the area.

  1. Reducing the inflammation of the bursa– Injection therapy (aspiration)
    Aspirated Bursa
  2. Offloading the area to reduce the pressure– Orthotic correction
    – Taping
    – Wider more supportive shoes

What else could it be? (differential diagnosis)

Other problems that can cause similar pain to a adventitious bursa include:


Plantar plate tear




The Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre’s Northcote Podiatrists can help you with all lower limb complaints, including Adventitious Bursa pain. Make an appointment to get your foot and ankle pain under control.

Expert Podiatrists and Orthotists in the treatment of Adventitious Bursa problems servicing the areas of Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Carlton, North Carlton, Alphington, Fairfield, Brunswick, Coburg and Preston

Call The Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre in Northcote for further advice on professional management and treatment options.