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Suprapatellar synovial bursae


A synovial bursa is a small sac-like structure interposed between structures that generate significant amounts of friction. For example, in the subcutaneous layer of the skin superficial to the elbow, a bursa the size of a quarter sits between the skin and the bone to prevent frictional damage as the skin rubs over the bone during movements of the elbow joint. Bursae have a similar design to the articular capsule of a synovial joint. These small bags have an outer fibrous membrane of dense irregular collagenous connective tissue, and an inner lining of synovial membrane. The synovial membrane produces a small amount of synovia as a lubricant inside the sac. The fibrous membrane binds to surrounding tissues allowing the juxtaposed walls of synovial membrane to rub together in a frictionless manner. Many bursae arise as outgrowths of synovial joints. In some cases these pinch off from the joint forming sacs that are independent from the joint, while other bursal sacs retain their duct like connections with the joint cavity they developed from. Bursae occur throughout the body in a wide variety of locations.


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