Knee Bursitis Treatment, Symptoms, Recovery Time

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Knee Bursitis Treatment


Cortisone Injections

Cortisone injections can be used to treat the inflammation of small areas of the body (local injections), or they can be used to treat inflammation that is widespread throughout the body (systemic injections). Examples of conditions for which local cortisone injections are used include inflammation of a bursa (bursitis of the hip, knee, elbow, or shoulder), a tendon (tendinitis such as tennis elbow), and a joint (arthritis).

A medical image of where the knee bursae are located around the knee joint.

A medical image of where the knee bursae are located around the knee joint.Source: iStock

A knee bursa can become inflamed due to prolonged kneeling, causing knee pain.

A knee bursa can become inflamed due to prolonged kneeling, causing knee pain.Source: iStock

What is knee bursitis?

The knee joint is surrounded by three major bursae. At the tip of the knee, over the kneecap bone (patella), is the prepatellar bursa. This bursa can become inflamed (prepatellar bursitis) 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.”

Inflammation of the bursa at the inner side of the knee (anserine area) can cause pes anserine bursitis. Pes anserine bursitis causes local tenderness of the inner knee. This bursa of the knee is located on the lower inner side of the knee and is called the “anserine bursa.” This bursa most commonly becomes inflamed in middle-aged women. This condition is referred to as anserine bursitis. Anserine bursitis is particularly common in those who are obese. These patients can notice pain in the inner knee while climbing or descending stairs.

Bursa inflammation contributes to joint pain, knee pain, stiffness, and knee swelling.

Bursa inflammation contributes to joint pain, knee pain, stiffness, and knee swelling.Source: Getty Images

Fluid can be drained from an inflamed knee bursa to alleviate bursitis symptoms.

Fluid can be drained from an inflamed knee bursa to alleviate bursitis symptoms.Source: Getty Images



SLIDESHOW


Pain Management: Surprising Causes of Pain
See Slideshow

Bursitis treatments vary and medical health care professionals may recommend reducing inflammation of the bursa with medication or knee fluid drainage.

Bursitis treatments vary and medical health care professionals may recommend reducing inflammation of the bursa with medication or knee fluid drainage.Source: iStock

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Medically Reviewed on 3/31/2021

References


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.





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