Bursitis of the knee occurs when fluid fills up the knee, causing the kneecap to become reddened, painful and swollen. In the body, small sacks of fluid called bursae are found around joints to protect and stabilize these important areas. In the knee, there are 11 bursae that cover the kneecap to protect it from damage. When these burst, whether from trauma or overuse, the knee loses mobility and becomes painful to use when walking. The knee provides stability for the body, so it is necessary to perform daily functions such as walking or jumping.
Prepatellar bursitis is the type that occurs most commonly in athletes and people whose professions require them to spend time on their hands and knees. Regularly applying additional pressure to this fragile part of the body increases the risk of the bursa rupturing. Treatment is fairly easy and requires simply rest, ice and compresses to help the bursa recover. However, in some cases, medicine and antibiotics may be required if there is an infection in the area. It is always important to see a doctor to ensure you do not have an infection and require a prescription.
Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is the joint where the thighbone and shinbone meet. It consists of the following:
The knee acts as a stabilizer for the body. Connecting the top part of the leg with the bottom, the knee has four ligaments that work together to provide stability and mobility, allowing the leg to smoothly bend at the joint so individuals can walk, jump and do other necessary tasks.
Types of Bursitis of the Knee
Bursitis of the kneecap can be divided into two main types of injury:
Causes of Bursitis of the Knee
There are a few causes of bursitis of the kneecap:
Symptoms of Bursitis
Bursitis is typically accompanied by pain in the affected area. However, this is usually aggravated by pressure put on the knee by kneeling or from injury.
The following are common bursitis of the knee symptoms. Depending on the way in which this disease occurred, these symptoms may be different for each person:
Bursitis of the kneecap symptoms occur because of bursae that break open and release fluid. This fluid is often considered to be just water in the knee, however it is important to understand the difference between that and other fluids in the affected area. For this reason, any person experiencing these symptoms should see a medical professional for help.
The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's Trauma Services in New York treats Bursitis of the knee as well as a broad range of conditions that affect the bones within the body.