Knee Bursitis Information

Last updated on 5 November 2019 by Danniel Jacques (B.Med.Sci UNSW)

What is Knee Bursitis?

Knee Bursitis - OSMO PatchWithin and around the knee lie several small cushion like structure called bursae. A bursa allows different tissue types within the knee (such as bones, muscles and tendons) to move smoothly across each other which reduces friction and irritation from occurring in the knee.

When one of these bursae becomes inflamed due to injury they can fill with fluid causing pain and swelling in the knee. This condition is called knee bursitis.

There are four main areas of the knee where bursitis in the knee will occur. These are classified by the region of the knee they affect, and are named as follows;

» Pes anserine Bursitis
» Prepatellar Bursitis
» Infrapatellar Bursitis
» Suprapatellar Bursitis

What Causes Knee Bursitis?

Bursitis in the knee is normally a result of either trauma due to an impact injury, overuse through work or sports or age related wear and tear. Another less recognised cause can be due to post operative irritation in the knee.

There are also certain jobs where individuals may be more susceptible to developing bursitis in the knee as they require long periods where kneeling on hard surfaces is required. These jobs may include carpenters, plumbers, gardeners and cleaners. In fact prepatellar bursitis is also known as housemaid’s knee.

What are the Symptoms of Knee Bursitis?

Symptoms and signs may include;

  • A visible lump on the knee
  • Mild to extreme knee pain
  • Knee pain at nights while you sleep,
  • Pain in the knee when walking or running,
  • Localized swelling and tenderness
  • Possible knee pain at rest.

Bursitis can occur equally in either knee and may initially present as either right knee pain or left knee pain.

How is Knee Bursitis Diagnosed?

Due to there being several conditions that may present as knee bursitis it is best to visit a qualified medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

To properly diagnose knee bursitis your doctor will likely get you to have both an x-ray and ultra sound of the knee. If there is an infection suspected then a blood test and maybe an aspiration of the synovial fluid may be required for testing and culturing.

In some cases an MRI may also be required to rule out any co-exist conditions that may have contributed to the condition.

Next Page: Learn the answers to the most common questions asked about treating knee bursitis, including:

Testimonials

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Baker's cyst

Hello Danniel, Thank you for your prompt reply.

I started using the patches about 10 days ago, and the amount of improvement is unbelievable. The lump was rock hard, and I could not bend the knee, nor straighten the leg. Even though there is still some swelling, the knee feels almost normal. I have run out of the patches, so will restart as soon as I receive the new batch…hopefully it will all go away. Thank you for your help, and good luck…

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Baker's cyst

Dear Toky, Thank you for your answer. My cyst is on the medial ventral surface of my knee.  I have been placing the patches directly on top of the cyst, although it cannot be seen, but I know where it is from the ultrasound studies and the pain. I shall try misting the area instead […]

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Baker's Cyst

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London, UK
Baker's Cyst

I’ve had bakers cyst under my knee cap for 5 years and I’ve been in constant agony and haven’t been able to bend my knee for 5 years all my doctor could come up with was sticking needles under my knee cap, but 3 days on patches and it’s amazing swelling has almost gone pain […]

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Denbighshire, UK
Baker's cyst

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Fluid on knee

I had a sac of fluid to the upper-right of my knee. Quite large. Initially I had pulled my calf muscle and without realizing the extent of the pull, I continued to pursue my daily routine which consisted of morning workouts at the gym including “spin” class.  Needless to say, I aggravated the whole situation. […]

Vickie M
Rhode Island, United States
Knee problems

Dear Danniel, I fell 1.5 metres onto the road, landing on my patella. The pain was severe, and after two weeks on crutches I was left with a fluid-filled bursa the size of half a golf-ball on my knee. I already had a swelling just below my kneecap for five years, and another specialist had […]

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Auckland, New Zealand
Knee swelling and Pain

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