An unusual case of lipoma arborescens

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Lipoma arborescens is a rare condition of the synovial lining. It is particularly uncommon in the bicipitoradial bursae of the elbow.


A 68-year-old woman presented with a 5-month history of anterior elbow pain and swelling causing discomfort. Radiography demonstrated reactive changes of radial tuberosity and magnetic resonance imaging confirmed lipoma arborescens of the bicipitoradial bursa with distal biceps tendinopathy. A bicipital bursa bursectomy and lipoma excision was performed. Gross pathology and histology was consistent with lipoma arborescens. Three months postoperatively, our patient had full range of motion and good strength.


To our knowledge, this is the first published case report of lipoma arborescens affecting the elbow. Recognising the differential diagnoses of anterior elbow pain and the characteristic imaging is essential for accurate diagnosis.

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