Commonly referred to as housemaids knees, knee bursitis is an inflammation of the patella bursa. A bursa is a fluid filled sac present to lubricate a joint, when it becomes irritated the bursa will swell becoming ‘bursitis’. This bursa sits directly behind the patella and is easily irritated if a person is kneeling throughout the day i.e. helpers, gardeners and handymen. At East Coast, our experienced podiatrists see this condition daily.
There are three main types of knee bursae that can become bursitis:
Bursa’s of the knee have a higher chance of becoming infected due to the daily shock they undergo, especially if the skin gets punctured. Swelling and tenderness are common which leads to difficulty in walking. Our podiatry centre is specialized with nonsurgical treatment of bursitis and the biomechanical discrepancies that worsen the condition.
Podiatrists use clinical evaluation and treatment methods to reduce the inflammation and pain, along with full custom orthotics to realign any malalignment of the limbs. This is short term treatment to ensure pain reduces followed by long term treatment to reduce tension and strain on the bursa.
Taking an x-ray for knee bursitis is quite normal, it is a clinical tool used to rule out bone fractures and osteoarthritis among other differential diagnoses that are associated with it.
If the bursitis is left without treatment, ruptures or becomes infected, patients will need to consult our orthopedic associates immediately to ensure the correct treatment is carried out. This may involve antibiotics, surgically draining the bursa or injecting a cortisone medication into the affected area.
If you are suffering with knee bursitis please reduce your worsen activities and refrain from impact or high-intensity sports. Follow your rest, ice and elevation steps. If the pain persists or flares up in the coming days/weeks then seek professional help to ensure there are no underlying unforeseen biomechanical issues that could be leading to something more serious.