Knee bursitis also known as prepatellar bursitis, is an inflammation of the bursa, a little sac filled with fluid that is located close to the knee joint. Bursae are softened pressure points, which lessen friction between bones and nearby tendons, muscles, and skin. The anterior part of the knee will appear swollen, which typically indicates knee bursitis.
Inflammation of any of the bursa in the knee can occur, but knee bursitis is most commonly found over the kneecap or on the inner side of the knee below the joint. When the bursa sac is frequently irritated, injured, or infected, its thin lining thickens and generates more fluid.
There are two types of knee bursitis.
- Acute knee bursitis: This condition develops when the bursa in front of the kneecap is suddenly injured. This can be caused by trauma such as a forceful impact or infection are the usual causes of this.
- Chronic knee bursitis: Repeated kneeling or other knee-related pressure might cause chronic bursitis.
Patient may experience pain and limited mobility if they have knee bursitis. Self-care techniques and prescription medications are frequently used in combination with each other as knee bursitis treatment to reduce pain and inflammation.
The sign and symptoms of knee bursitis can vary depending on the affected bursa and the cause of inflammation. Symptoms can appear suddenly if there is a sharp blow to the knee, but most cases of knee bursitis develop gradually from friction and irritation caused by occupations that require a lot of kneeling on hard surfaces. These symptoms can worsen over time.
Knee bursitis has three common symptoms, however not everyone who exhibits all three symptoms will actually have the condition. These are the three indications:
- Swelling: Most cases of knee bursitis usually have swollen knee. The patient’s enlarged bursa sac will be visible and palpable through their skin. Pressing on it typically causes them to feel squishy. If the knee bursitis is not treated, the swelling may get worse.
- Limited range of motion: Knee bursitis in mild to severe forms typically does not interfere with the ability to flex and extend the knee. Knee bursitis might make it difficult to move the knee as normally as it would be if it is severe.
- Pain: Some cases of knee bursitis may not cause pain; others may experience pain or discomfort in the affected knee even when they are resting. Knee bursitis patients can have no pain while at rest but soreness or tenderness when bending or kneeling their affected knee.
An infection can occasionally develop in the bursa that lies over the kneecap. In addition to knee discomfort and swelling, if the patient has a fever, they need to seek medical attention.
Knee bursitis could be cause by the following:
- Activity: Knee bursitis could be cause by sustaining pressure and irritation from frequent kneeling.
- Trauma: Knee bursitis can result from injury to the knee, such as from falling or being struck by an object.
- Infection: Knee sac could become infected from a scrape, bug bite, or cut. Infectious bursitis is a term used to describe this type of prepatellar bursitis. Although it’s less often, this condition is dangerous and requires immediate medical attention.
- Other diseases: Complication from rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or osteoarthritis could cause knee bursitis.
There is a higher risk of developing knee bursitis:
- Kneeling: Knee bursitis is more likely to affect people who spend extended periods of time on their knees.
- Particular sports: Chance of developing knee bursitis can be increased by participating in sports like wrestling, football, and volleyball that involve repeated falls or direct hits to the knee.
- Obesity and osteoarthritis. Obesity with osteoarthritis frequently experience pes anserine bursitis, which affects the inner side of their knee below the joint.