Knee bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, a small sac that contains fluid and acts as a kind of “pad” to reduce friction between the bones, tendons and muscles of the knee joint.
Bursitis of this joint can be caused by falling or hitting the knee, physical activities that have an impact on the knee or even infections of the bursa, which cause symptoms such as tenderness, pain and swelling in the affected knee.
The treatment of bursitis of the knee consists mainly of staying at rest and using anti-inflammatories shown by the traumatologist, in addition to doing physical therapy, with exercises shown by the physiotherapist.
The most common symptoms of knee bursitis include:
- Tenderness in the affected knee;
- Knee swelling;
- Feeling the warmth of the place;
- Pain when moving or pressing the knee.
If symptoms appear, it is important to consult a traumatologist to make a diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis of bursitis is made by the traumatologist by evaluating the symptoms and by physical examination, gently pressing the affected region and moving the leg to check the presence of pain during movement.
The doctor can also order imaging tests such as x-ray, MRI or ultrasound of the knee, to visualize the structures of the knee in more detail and check if the bursitis is caused by a bone problem or arthritis, for example.
Also, if the doctor suspects a bursa infection or gout, an aspiration test of the fluid inside the bursa may be requested for laboratory analysis.
Knee bursitis is an inflammation that can occur in one of the bursae located near the knee joints, and can be caused by the following reasons:
- bacterial infection of the bursa;
- Excessive frictional forces that may occur during certain physical activities;
- Injuries, such as falling or hitting the knee;
- Diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or gout;
- Excessive pressure on the knee;
Similarly, working on kneeling on hard surfaces for a long time or playing sports where the knees are constantly falling can also cause knee bursitis.
How the treatment is done
The treatment of bursitis of the knee is carried out by the traumatologist with the aim of reducing the inflammation of the bursa and relieving the symptoms. The rest of the joint can be pointed, elevate the knee if possible, and perform knee compression. affected by a stretch, apply ice to the area and, if necessary, drink non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
The doctor may also give antibiotics, if it is a bursa infection, and a corticosteroid injection or aspiration to remove excess fluid from the bursa and reduce inflammation. Although rare, if knee bursitis does not respond to any treatment, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected bursa. Learn about all the medications that may be indicated for bursitis.
In addition, physiotherapy is also a good treatment option, because it helps to reduce the inflammatory process, relieve pain and reduce the excess weight of the inflamed bursae, and should be performed with guided exercises the physiotherapist.
Exercises for knee bursitis
Increasing the flexibility of the knee helps not only to treat, but also to prevent knee bursitis. Some exercises that can be done for knee bursitis include:
1. Raise your leg
Lie face down on the floor, keep the unaffected leg and raise the affected knee, stretched with the help of an elastic band or belt, for example. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and lower your leg again. Repeat this movement 3 times.
Another way to do this exercise without using an elastic band is to lie on the floor near an open door, keep the unaffected leg extended and raise the leg over the affected knee, resting it on wall next to the door frame.
2. Calf stretch
Stand up and place yourself in front of the wall. Place your hands on the wall at eye level, with your arms extended. Keep the knee leg with bursitis stretched back, with the foot and heel resting on the floor, and the unaffected leg forward slightly bent, slowly leaning against the wall until you feel the affected calf leg stretched out. Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds, return to the starting position and repeat the exercise about 3 times.
3. Stretch the front part of the leg
Stand, position yourself in front of or to the side of a wall, looking straight ahead. Place your hand on the wall on the side of the uninjured leg. Bend the leg at the affected knee backwards, grab the ankle with the other hand and pull the heel towards the buttock, bringing the knees together. Care must be taken not to curve the spine. Hold your leg in this position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat the exercise 3 times.
- HONG, E.; KRAFT, MC Evaluation of anterior knee pain. Med Clin North Am. 98. 4; 697-717, 2014
- MOHSENI, M.; GRAHAM, C. IN: STATPEARLS (INTERNET). TREASURE ISLAND (FL): STATPEARLS PUBLISHING. Pes Anserine Bursitis. 2021. Available in: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532941/>. Accessed on 02 November 2021
- RISHOR-OLNEY, CR; POZUN, A. IN: STATPEARLS (INTERNET). TREASURE ISLAND (FL): STATPEARLS PUBLISHING. Prepatellar Bursitis. 2021. Available in: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557508/>. Accessed on 02 November 2021