Bursitis Knee Pain


Inflammation or irritation of one or more of the bursae in your knee is known as knee bursitis . Bursae reduce friction and cushion pressure points between your bones and the tendons, muscles and skin near your joints.

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How serious is Bursitis?

Importantly, aseptic (non-infected) bursitis may be a common condition that can be treated at home, septic bursitis is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.

In addition, bursitis is commonly caused by repetitive motions, such as a hurdler jumping over and over. Also, spending time in positions that put pressure on part of your body, such as kneeling, can cause a bursitis flare-up. Occasionally, a sharp blow to the knee can cause bursitis symptoms to come on suddenly, but this is less common. On the other hand, knee bursitis often affects the kneecap or the inner side of the knee joint. Symptoms usually start gradually and can get worse over time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

How is Bursitis related to your Bursae?

To clarify, painful swelling of bursae in the knee is known as Bursitis. For example, think of the Bursae as pillows for your tendons, ligaments, and muscles.  Moreover, they are fluid-filled sacs whos primary function is to cushion this compact area of the knee.  When the bursae are not swollen and functioning properly, they help the tendons, ligaments, and muscles glide smoothly over bone. However, when the bursae are swollen, the area around them becomes very tender and painful. If the bursitis is left untreated, the fluid filled sack has the potential to rupture. As a result, this could then lead to an infection of the surrounding skin.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Bursae Around Knee Joint

  1. Suprapatellar Bursa (Between Femur and Quadriceps tendon; Communicates with synovial membrane of knee.)
  2. Subcutaneous Prepatellar Bursa (Between Patella and skin.)
  3. Deep Infrapatellar Bursa (Between Tibia and ligamentum patellae.)
  4. Subcutaneous Infrapatellar Bursa (Between lower half of Tibial tuberosity and skin.)
  5. Popliteal Bursa (Between tendon of Popliteus and capsule of knee joint; Communicates with synovial membrane of knee joint.)
  6. Subsartorial Bursa/Pes Anserinus (Beneath the Sartorius, Gracilis and Semitendinosus tendons)

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What happens if bursitis is left untreated?

Consequently, untreated bursitis can lead to a permanent thickening or enlargement of the bursa, which can cause chronic inflammation and pain. Subsequently, chronic pain could cause you to not move as much which could lead to muscle atrophy. A long term reduction in use of joint can lead to decreased physical activity and loss of surrounding muscle.


Is knee bursitis a form of arthritis?

Certainly, arthritis and bursitis are different conditions that have similar characteristics. The most common forms of arthritis are the chronic conditions, osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).   Bursitis is a temporary condition that’s usually caused by overuse, injury, or infection. The main difference is arthritis is a chronic condition that irreparably damages bone, cartilage, and joints, whereas bursitis is a temporary condition that involves the painful swelling of bursae for a time.


In conclusion, bursitis can be very painful, and tends to be most severe during joint use, or while resting at night. Above all, Carolinas Pain Center located in Charlotte, NC and Huntersville, NC has specialists who can give you information based on your specific condition and create a treatment plan to help relieve your bursitis knee pain.

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