CNY Orthopedic Sports Medicine, PC: Injury: Bursitis

Injuries and Conditions: Knee: Bursitis

Bursitis is an irritation or inflammation of a bursa inside the knee. Bursa are fluid filled sacs that act as a cushion between skin, tendons, ligaments and bones. There are several bursae surrounding the knee joint.
  • Injuries are usually minor and do not demand immediate medical attention.
  • The prepatellar bursa is normally the most susceptible to injury because it is located directly in front of the knee. Bursae at any site may be irritated from repetitive motions or impacts. This is often referred to as repetitive microtrauma.
  • The injury is common in runners because of repetitive leg motion, or sports like wrestling where the knees are rubbed excessively on the mat during competition.
  • Non-surgical treatments can be used to reduce swelling and irritation, although in more extreme cases, the surgeon may remove some of the fluid from the bursa (a process known as aspiration) if it is very swollen.

  • Signs and Symptoms
  • Pain,swelling and warmth around the knee.
  • Pain during movement of the leg, particularly when flexing or extending the leg.


  • Contact the Doctor if ...
  • The patient has the signs and symptoms of bursitis.
  • After treatment, the patient experiences increasing pain or weakness in the joint.
  • The patient experiences unexplained symptoms, other types of pain, or unexpected side effects of medication.

  • Common Causes of Injury
  • Bursitis usually occurs from repetitive motions that cause the bursa to rub against tendons, bones, or ligaments or from repeated blows to the knee.
  • The condition is frequently seen in runners or participants in sports like basketball or soccer that involve a great deal of running. Long periods of kneeling or rubbing the knee against the ground, during activities like wrestling, can also irritate and inflame the bursa.

  • Expectations of Recovery
  • Patients that seek treatment and follow recommended therapy should fully recover.


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