When Is Shoulder Bursitis Serious Enough to See a Doctor?

Shoulder bursitis requires a doctor's appointment when the pain is severe or when it's accompanied by a fever, according to WebMD. In addition, a patient with shoulder bursitis should see a doctor if the painful area becomes hot or red.

A doctor may aspirate fluid from the bursa region of the shoulder using a needle, then have the fluid tested for an infection. Other tests that can determine the severity of shoulder bursitis include X-rays, ultrasounds or MRIs, as WebMD explains. If an infection is present, antibiotics are required, according to MedicineNet. Cortisone injections and physical therapy are typically used to treat noninfectious shoulder bursitis.