Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomePopularWhat Are The Symptoms Of Bursitis Of The Knee

What Are The Symptoms Of Bursitis Of The Knee

How Many Bursas Are There In The Knee

Symptoms Of Knee Bursitis

There are multiple bursas around the knee. The most important of them are the prepatellar bursa, infrapatellar bursa and pes anserine bursa. These are most commonly involved in the inflammation and the swelling. They can be caused due to daily activities like kneeling or may be caused due to pathology in the knee leading to bad biomechanics around the knee.

They can be treated usually with RICE that is rest, ice, compression and elevation along with anti-inflammatory medications. They can also be treated with cortisone shot if not improved. The patient should see a physician if the pain is not relieved with over-the-counter medications.

Symptoms Of Knee Bursitis

Signs and symptoms of knee bursitis may vary and they depend on which bursa is, exactly, affected or what is the cause of inflammation. Generally, the portion of your knee that is affected by this disorder may feel warm, swollen and tender when you form a pressure on it. Furthermore, you might also feel pain when you rest or move.

Only in situations when knee bursitis is caused by direct blow on the knee, the symptoms develop rapidly. In most other cases, symptoms develop gradually as knee bursitis is usually a result of repetitive injuries.

NOTE: bursa that is located over your kneecap can sometimes become infected and you should call your health care provider when you experience fever coupled with symptoms described above.

Symptoms Of Bursitis Of The Knee

Common symptoms of knee bursitis include:

  • Localised Knee Pain: bursitis knee pain typically develops gradually, fluctuates and tends to be a general ache rather than sharp knee pain.
  • Knee Swelling: People can often feel a squashy lump with a swollen knee bursa which may fluctuate in size.
  • Knee Stiffness: It is often painful to bend or straighten a leg with knee bursitis which can limit knee movement.

Symptoms of bursitis knee often come and go and aren’t always consistent which can make it hard to accurately diagnose specific knee bursitis. Sometimes it is only once other conditions have been ruled out that bursitis of the knee is finally diagnosed.

Don’t Miss: How To Remove Scar Tissue From Knee Surgery

What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Bursitis

Signs of knee bursitis can vary depending on which bursae are inflamed and the cause of the bursitis. The main symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Skin at the affected area may feel warm to the touch
  • Fever

Your doctor will usually be able to diagnose knee bursitis by performing a physical examination and a review of your medical history. Imaging tests may also be required, such as X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI.

Diagnosis Of Knee Bursitis

Bursitis knee: Symptoms, Causes & Physiotherapy : Physiosunit
  • Inflamed bursae that are right under the skin can easily be diagnosed. They are swollen and painful, and are sensitive to pressure. Reddened, warm skin is also a sign of inflammation.
  • It is important to find out whether the inflammation is caused by bacteria. If it is accompanied by fever and/or a wound close to the inflamed area, it is likely to be a bacterial infection. For confirmation, doctor takes some fluid from the bursa using a hollow needle and has it tested in laboratory.
  • Blood tests can detect further signs of inflammation or show whether the inflammation is being caused by a disease such as gout.
  • Imaging techniques like ultrasound, x-rays are taken to rule out the other possible cause of the symptoms, such as bone or joint injuries. They can also help to check whether the bursitis may have already damaged nearby tissue.
  • Recommended Reading: How To Pop Your Knee

    What Type Of Doctor Treats Knee Bursitis

    Many doctors are qualified to diagnose and make treatment recommendations for knee bursitis. Examples include:

    • Primary care providers, such as family medicine doctors and internists
    • Doctors who specialize in sports medicine, such as physiatrists
    • Orthopedists
    • Rheumatologists

    A doctor may refer a patient to another specialist depending on the patients unique health circumstances.

    See Prepatellar Bursitis Treatment

    Could It Be Anything Else

    Possibly. The main thing to be wary of is infection. Sometimes bacteria get into the bursa or the knee generally and cause problems, or indeed a case of bursitis. Here the thing to watch out for is a higher degree of pain and hot, red skin . There may also be systemic features, such as shivers, shakes and a temperature. If you get these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible. If they do diagnose an infection, its likely that youll be prescribed antibiotics to treat it. Other possible causes of a swollen knee are gout, osteoarthritis, or an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis these are things we can eliminate quickly if you come in for treatment with us.

    Are you getting persistent swelling in your knee? If so, it would be a good idea to have it properly investigated. You can do that here in the clinic by booking an appointment with us. Well make sure youre seen, examined and treated as soon as possible.

    Read Also: Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Scar Tissue Removal Recovery

    Who Gets Knee Bursitis

    Bursitis can affect individuals of any age; however, as we age the skin overlying the knee slowly begins to thin. With this thinning there is less cushion for the underlying bursae. As such, older individuals are at greater risk for knee bursitis. Additionally, patients on chronic glucocorticoid therapy are also at greater risk for knee bursitis.

    What Is Knee Bursitis

    Knee Bursitis Causes and Treatment

    The knee joint is surrounded by three major bursae. At the tip of the knee, over the kneecap bone , is the prepatellar bursa. This bursa can become inflamed from direct trauma to the front of the knee. This commonly occurs when maintaining a prolonged kneeling position, thereby causing irritation of the prepatellar area. It has been referred to as “housemaid’s knee,””roofer’s knee,” and “carpet layer’s knee,” based on the patient’s associated occupational histories.

    Strain of the large tendon below the kneecap can cause both tendonitis and infrapatellar bursitis. This bursa of the knee is located just under the kneecap beneath the large tendon that attaches the muscles in front of the thigh and the kneecap to the prominent bone in front of the lower leg. This bursa is called the infrapatellar bursa, and when inflamed, the condition is called infrapatellar bursitis. It is commonly seen with inflammation of the adjacent tendon as a result of a jumping injury, hence the name “jumper’s knee.”

    Don’t Miss: How To Regrow Cartilage Naturally

    What Is Infrapatellar Bursitis

    Bursa;are small fluid-filled pockets or sacs filled that sit between bones, muscles and tendons. They provide cushioning and lubrication allowing the soft tissues to slide smoothly over each other or over bone without any friction.

    There are a number of different bursa around the knee.;The infrapatellar bursa is found just below the kneecap and sits around the patellar tendon, the large tendon that connects the quadriceps muscles to the lower leg.;

    The infrapatellar bursa is actually made up of two sacs:

    Superficial Infrapatellar Bursa; sits in front of the patellar tendon, between the tendon and the overlying skin

    Deep Infrapatellar Bursa; Sits underneath the patellar tendon, between the tendon and the shin bone

    For all intents and purposes, the superficial and deep infrapatellar bursae are treated as one.

    The infrapatellar bursa protects the patellar tendon as you bend and straighten the knee, allowing it to glide smoothly and freely over the tibia as you move.

    Irritation, pressure or friction on the bursa cause it to produce excess fluid as a protective mechanism to prevent damage, resulting in;bursitis. The bursa gradually swells and if left untreated, may thicken and harden. In extreme situations, calcifications may appear in the bursa.

    How Serious Is Bursitis

    Bursitis can affect any of your bursae, mostly those in the buttocks, elbow, foot, knee, hip, thigh, or shoulder, and is not normally serious. It causes only mild pain and discomfort, and, with suitable treatment, usually goes away within a month or less. Knee bursitis is no exception so if you have knee bursitis, theres no need to worry too much.

    Any bursitis may, however, reflect a more serious underlying problem. Consequently, if you suffer from knee bursitis, you should see your GP so that he or she can examine you and send you to an orthopaedic specialist if necessary.

    Also Check: How To Pop Your Knee

    Tips To Prevent Knee Bursitis

    Knee bursitis can be prevented by following certain precautionary measures.

    Gel Pads: Household activities can put pressure on the knees and lead to knee bursitis. This can be avoided by wearing knee gel pads as a protection from the hard surface.

    Knee Support: Athletes are more prone to a direct blow to the knee. Knee pads protect the knee from an injury.

    Ice Apllication: Applying ice on the knee after exercising stops the bursa from getting aggravated.

    It is important to note that a septic bursa can spread to other joints, bones or blood if not treated in a timely manner.

    It is advised to prevent this complication by consulting a doctor if a redness or rash is associated with bursitis.

    An antibiotic course usually is able to halt the infection, post which a bursitis treatment plan can be followed.

    The symptoms of knee bursitis can be quite similar to that of arthritis, gout, and diabetic neuropathy. It is important to understand the exact cause and location of the knee pain before diagnosing and treating it.

    Diagnosis of bursitis can be undertaken by asking questions such as the patients hobbies, work-related activities, and any recent falls. These details are needed to understand if prolonged kneeling is involved in their activities.

    It is also important to know your medical history, as underlying conditions could cause the knee bursitis. In such cases, the bursitis treatment should also include a treatment for the underlying cause.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Bursitis Of The Knee

    Bursitis: Knee Pain Could Be Rooted in Inflammation of ...

    Bursitis of the knee is an inflammatory condition that can be caused by an immediate injury, or it can slowly develop over time. There are three bursa sacs filled with fluid around the knee, and when they become inflamed, symptoms begin to develop. At first, the knee will turn red and begin feeling warm to the touch. As the condition worsens, the knee will appear swollen and cause pain when moved or touched.

    The two common causes of bursitis of the knee are a direct trauma to the knee or prolonged kneeling on a hard surface. The condition is very common in people who work in professions that require a lot of kneeling on the job, such as roofing. The symptoms of bursitis of the knee will vary depending on the exact cause of the condition. In cases where the bursitis is caused by a direct blow to the front of the knee, the symptoms will appear almost immediately after the injury is sustained. When it is caused by a repetitive injury, such as routine and prolonged kneeling, the symptoms will appear more gradually and over a longer period of time.

    Read Also: How To Whiten Knees Fast

    How Can I Manage My Symptoms

    • Rest your knee as much as possible to decrease pain and swelling. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
    • Apply ice to help decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your knee for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times each day, as directed.
    • Apply heat to help decrease pain and stiffness. Apply heat on the area for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times each day, as directed.
    • Apply compression to decrease swelling. Healthcare providers may wrap your knee with tape or an elastic bandage to decrease swelling. Loosen the elastic bandage if you start to lose feeling in your toes.
    • Elevate your knee above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your lower leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably. Do not put the pillow directly under your knee.
    • Go to physical therapy, if directed. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to improve your range of motion and increase knee strength.

    Inability To Move Affected Joint

    With most cases of bursitis, there’s some range of motion still associated with the affected joint. Though movement may cause pain, affected individuals are typically able to go through some motions. However, in more serious cases, there may be an inability to move the affected joint. Sometimes this is because the stiffness progresses until it makes the joint feel ‘locked.’ In other cases, the inability to move is because attempting movement causes pain too severe to manage. A complete inability to move the affected joint isn’t a normal symptom in run-of-the-mill bursitis. It’s often a sign of septic bursitis or serious inflammation that requires medical intervention. If a patient’s bursitis pain is keeping them from moving their joint entirely, they should see a doctor as soon as possible.

    Recommended Reading: Is Bike Riding Good For Knees

    Home Remedies And Medical Options


    • physical activity, including tai chi, walking, cycling, and water exercise
    • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or aspirin, to reduce pain and inflammation
    • tramadol, available on prescription for more severe pain
    • corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
    • other medications, such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for RA but not OA
    • applying heat and cold pads to relieve pain and swelling
    • topical creams, such as capsaicin
    • using a cane or walker to help you balance
    • acupuncture
    • attending cognitive behavioral therapy

    Experts say that people who play an active role in managing OA, for example, are likely to see a more positive outcome. Learning about arthritis, becoming aware of what makes symptoms better or worse, and making decisions with your doctor are ways of doing this.

    Discover exercises to strengthen the knee muscles.

    How To Know If You Have Bursitis Of The Knee

    Prepatellar Bursitis (Anterior knee pain and swelling)

    Bursitis is a painful condition that affects a bursa, which are small pouches filled with lubricating fluid located throughout the joints. They are nearer the surface than most parts of your joint that can give you pain, and in some cases you can pinpoint by touch exactly where the affected bursa is situated. The bursae in your joints decrease friction between bones, muscles, and tendons.

    We have bursae in almost all of our major joints, and they play a critical role in keeping connective tissue and bones working properly. Occasionally, the bursae in a joint can become inflamed, causing quite a bit of pain when the joint is moved a certain way. This condition is called bursitis, and it is most common in hip and knee joints.

    Also Check: How To Whiten Knees And Elbows

    What Is Patellar Bursitis

    Patellar bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa in the front of the knee cap. It is usually found in people who are involved in kneeling activities like housemaids, technicians, plumbers. It presents with pain and swelling in the front of the knee cap. It is usually treated with compression and anti-inflammatory along with ice or heat. If the patient is not relieved, then the fluid from the bursa can be aspirated and the cortisone injection can be given which may help in early healing of the bursitis. The patients are also asked to avoid activities lie kneeling that may cause recurrence of the bursa.

    Gradual Increase In Pain

    Arthritis pain usually starts slowly, although it can appear suddenly in some cases.

    At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after youve been inactive for a while. Your knees may hurt when you climb stairs, stand up from a sitting position, or kneel. It may hurt just to go for a walk.

    You may also feel pain when youre simply sitting down. Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of OA.

    For people with RA, the symptoms often start in the smaller joints. They are also more likely to be symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body. The joint may be warm and red.

    With OA, symptoms may progress rapidly or they may develop over several years, depending on the individual. They can worsen and then remain stable for a long time, and they can vary by days. Factors that may cause them to worsen include cold weather, stress, and excessive activity.

    With RA, symptoms usually appear over several weeks, but they can develop or worsen in a few days. A flare can happen when disease activity increases. Triggers vary, but they include changes in medication.

    With OA, this can be:

    • hard swelling, due to the formation of bone spurs
    • soft swelling, as inflammation causes extra fluid to collect around the joint

    Swelling may be more noticeable after a long period of inactivity, like when you first wake up in the morning.

    This is because RA is a systemic disease, which means it affects the whole body. OA, meanwhile, only has a direct impact on the affected joint.

    Recommended Reading: What Will The Er Do For A Knee Injury

    Housemaid’s Knee Due To Other Causes

    Most episodes of housemaid’s knee will settle with supportive treatment and do not require medicines or surgery.

    Supportive treatmentThe following may be suggested:

    • Resting the knee.
    • The use of ice packs on the knee .
    • For kneeling, the use of a thick foam cushion or knee pads – these can help to prevent the condition from coming back.
    • A physiotherapist can help by teaching you some exercises if your knee joint is affected by a reduced range of movement.
    • A stick or a cane can help with walking.

    Treatment using medicinesNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, can be taken for mild-to-moderate pain caused by housemaid’s knee. These also help to reduce inflammation.

    If housemaid’s knee becomes more troublesome, your doctor may suggest that they draw out the fluid from the bursa, using a small needle. They can then inject a steroid medicine into the bursa to counteract the inflammation. The idea is that the fluid will no longer accumulate. Infection must be excluded beforehand, as the steroid injection can make any pre-existing infection worse. You are unlikely to develop complications after this procedure. However, occasionally the following may occur:

    • The inflammation of the bursa can come back.
    • You can develop infection, bleeding or damage to the tendon joined to the kneecap.

    Surgical treatmentIn rare cases when housemaid’s knee does not go away, or keeps coming back and is causing intolerable symptoms, surgery may be necessary.


    Popular Articles