Bursitis

A bursa is a fluid filled sac which acts as a cushion between tendons and bones. There are multiple bursae within the knee, the two at the front of the knee can become inflamed through injury, such as a blow to the knee or repetitive activities such as kneeling. Bursitis of the knee is commonly referred to as housemaids knee. The swelling from a bursa can look quite dramatic but is not serious. It can occasionally be associated with gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

SYMPTOMS

– swelling

– tenderness/ pain

– Less commonly the bursa may become infected. It may become hot & red and you will feel generally unwell. See your GP urgently for treatment.

DIAGNOSIS

– Diagnosis is based purely on history taking and examination of your knee by your GP or healthcare professional.

– Investigations are not routinely required.

MANAGEMENT

– Bursitis of the knee usually resolves with self-care

-Rest if needed and avoid aggravating activities such as kneeling

– gentle exercise to maintain knee range of movement- if kneeling use knee pads or a foam kneeling cushion

– pain relief if needed

– icepacks – wrap the ice pack in a towel and place it over the affected area for 10-20 minutes. Repeat this every few hours.

– If it is infected it may become hot & red and you will feel generally unwell. See your GP urgently for assessment and treatment.

USEFUL LINKS

www.nhs.uk/Conditions/knee-pain – general information about the management of knee pain & links to bursitis

www.knee-pain-explained.com – information about bursitis

https://www.nhsinform.Scot/injuries/muscle-bone-and-joint-injuries-problems – general information about the management of knee pain