Knee bursitis (Prepatellar bursitis) is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa which is located between the tissues (bone, muscle, tendon, and skin). It is also referred as ‘housemaid's knee,’ ‘roofer's knee,’ and ‘carpet layer's knee’. Bursa is a fluid filled sac which is located near the knee joint. The fluid sac reduces friction, rubbing, and irritation between the joints. The fluid filled pack like structure acts as a lubricating source and cushions the pressure between the joints. There are 11 bursae in each knee. Knee bursitis occurs mostly over the kneecap or inside the knee below the joint. Knee bursitis can limit the mobility of the joint. Knee bursitis is commonly observed in people who work by kneeling for longer periods. It is common in professions such as carpet layers, gardeners, roofers, plumbers, and sports persons.
The symptoms of knee bursitis include
Knee bursitis can be prevented by following some simple measures such as
Knee bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation can be due to injury or repetitive movement of the joint. The infections can occur due to attack of bacteria at the puncture wounds. The bacterium which usually causes knee bursitis is Staphylococcus. Knee bursitis due to infection from bacteria is usually called as septic bursitis. Knee bursitis can be caused by infection of bursa, direct trauma to the knee, repeated pressure on knee, continuous and frequent pressure on knee, complications such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
The diagnosis of knee bursitis starts by a physical exam of the knee. During the physical examination, the doctor will inspect the knee by pressing gently on different areas and observes for swelling and warmthness and pain upon pressing. The comparison of both the knees helps to determine the level of inflammation in the knee. The doctor determines the range of motion of the knee joint by moving the knee in different positions. Some imaging tests are used to diagnose knee bursitis. They include:X-ray: X-rays are useful in identifying bone fracture, tumor or arthritis. Bursae are not visualized by X-rays.
Depending on the cause of knee bursitis, the doctors may recommend different type of treatments. If it is due to inflammation of the bursa, the doctors suggest following methods to relieve pain.Rest: The doctors suggest discontinuing the activities that may worsen the symptoms. Resting of the leg is suggested to relieve pain and inflammation of the knee.
Some invasive treatments for knee bursitis include:Corticosteroid Injection: If the bursitis does not respond to basic treatments, the doctor may suggest corticosteroid injections into an affected bursa to reduce inflammation.