Bursitis is an injury or inflammation of one or more of the bursae at the front of the knee. A bursa is a tiny, fluid filled sack that helps reduce friction between tendons, and between tendons and bone. Knee bursitis can be painful when moving the knee, when kneeling, or even at rest.
Knee bursitis can have many causes. The most common is trauma, whether from a direct blow or fall, or by activities that require crawling or kneeling on hard surfaces for long periods of time, such as laying carpet or tile, or scrubbing floors. You may sometimes hear knee bursitis referred to as “carpet layer’s knee,” “housemaid’s knee” or “roofer’s knee.” Knee bursitis is also common in athletes, especially in runners.
Symptoms of knee bursitis include pain and tenderness over the bursa, swelling or inflammation, loss of motion, and pain with activities such as kneeling, jumping and running.
A thorough physical exam by one of Lancaster Orthopedic Group’s knee specialists is important for an accurate diagnosis. X-rays and/or an MRI may be recommended to ensure there is no soft tissue injury.
Non-surgical treatment includes ice, anti-inflammatory medications, avoiding activities that cause pain, and physical therapy to improve your range of motion, relieve pain, and strengthen your muscles. In severe cases of recurrent knee bursitis, surgery to remove the bursa may be recommended.