CNY Orthopedic Sports Medicine, PC: InjuryDetail: Bursitis
Injuries and Conditions: Knee: Bursitis: Medical Details
The bursa is a tiny fibrous sac located near joints throughout the body that functions to cushion and reduce friction as tendons slide over bones. The bursae also provide another protective function. After a strong impact, such as a hard blow to the knee, a bursa will fill with fluid to protect the tendons and surrounding area from damage or further injury from repeated blows and impacts.

Under normal conditions, bursae remain as thin, almost completely collapsed sacs under the skin and contain only a minimal amount of fluid inside. After a strong impact or injury triggers the sacs to fill with fluid, the bursa expands and may push out against the skin. The visible swelling around a joint after a sharp blow to the knee or elbow is often due to the inflammation of one or several of the bursae surrounding the injured joint.

Causes of Injury
  • The bursa can become fluid-filled and inflamed through repetitive motions that rub, bruise or impact the joint, the bursa or both.
  • The knee is one of several joints that can be afflicted by bursitis. This condition also occurs commonly in the joints of the elbow, shoulder and hip.
  • In the knee, bursitis is usually the result of trauma to the joint. Pressure or excessive exercise can also result in bursitis contributing to the development of this condition.
  • Prolonged kneeling or leaning on the knee can be harmful to the joint and are the source of such terms as "clergyman's knee" and "maid's knee."
  • Bursitis can effect runners or participants in sports like basketball or soccer that involve a great deal of running.
  • Volleyball players may be affected by bursitis due to frequent kneeling or diving for the ball that forces repetitive contact of the knee with the ground.
  • Wrestlers may develop bursitis from the continual rubbing of their knees on wrestling mats.

  • Diagnosis
    The diagnosis of bursitis is made through an examination of the knee which will reveal tenderness and swelling over the bursa. Often, the irritation is visible as swelling under the skin. In more severe cases, the doctor will manipulate the knee to determine whether the bursa should be aspirated (drained of some of the built-up fluid) to relieve pain.
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     Product Considerations
    Knee: Compression Sleeves
    Knee compression sleeves give added support, increasing stability and helping to reduce swelling in an injured knee. Patients that have light sprains may be directed to use a compression sleeve during the early stages of rehabilitation. Other patients that have ongoing knee problems or chronic conditions may be recommended to use a sleeve on a daily basis. These sleeves are less restricting than most other knee supports and can be worn under loose fitting clothing.

    Knee compression sleeves can be used to treat:

  • Light swelling.
  • Light knee strains.
  • Chronic inflammation.
  • Degenerative joint disease.

  • NSAIDs
    NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are a group of drugs used to control pain. This category of medications includes both prescription and common over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen. NSAIDs are effective for many types of pain that can occur because of inflammation of muscles, joints and bones. The drugs work quickly and people often notice some benefit within a few hours of taking the tablet. However, the complete effectiveness of the drug may not be realized for up to four weeks. For each individual, some varieties of NSAIDs are more effective than others. Often, patients will find that one or two varieties are helpful whereas others may not be as effective in controlling symptoms. It is usually necessary to try several brands and continue with the one that is most suitable. NSAIDs can be used to treat:
  • Pain resulting from inflammation or swelling.
  • Pain after injury.
  • Joint pain and arthritis.

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