A bursa is a fluid filled sac that provides cushioning around a joint. There are an estimated thirteen bursae around the knee. Common examples of bursitis include pre-patellar bursitis (housemaid’s knee), infra-patellar bursitis (clergyman’s knee), Baker’s cyst, and pes anserinus bursitis.
How is it caused?
Bursae can become inflamed if they receive a direct blow or if the tendon running over them is over-used. Pes anserinus bursitis is caused by inflammation of the bursa underneath a group of hamstring tendons on the inside of the knee and is more common in athletes.
What are the symptoms?
These include pain and swelling, and the bursa is often tender to touch, with certain movements being particularly painful.
How is it diagnosed?
After an examination, the diagnosis is usually confirmed with an ultrasound scan and, if appropriate, an aspiration (removing fluid from around the joint) and an ultrasound guided cortisone injection (to relieve pain) can be carried out at the same time.
How is it treated?
It’s unusual to have surgery for knee tendon bursitis. Taking plenty of rest, anti-inflammatory medication (if recommended by your doctor) and/or painkillers is usually enough for the condition to improve.
Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Everyone is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you’re worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.