Athletes, gardeners, and others who regularly squat and crouch are at risk for developing bursitis in their knees. Bursitis often brings pain, swelling, and loss of mobility. Thankfully, treatment options can be simple and effective. With earlyJaydee Vykoukal, PT, DPT diagnosis and implementation of at-home treatments, your knee will be feeling better in no time. Keep reading to learn what causes bursitis knee, common symptoms, and how to treat and prevent it—so you can keep doing the things you love.
Bursitis of the knee is inflammation of the bursa—a tiny, fluid-filled sac that reduces friction during joint movement and relieves the impact of pressure points in the knee. Bursitis of the knee most commonly develops in the prepatellar bursa, subcutaneous prepatellar bursa, and superficial infrapatellar bursa.
There are a handful of bursitis knee causes. Damage to the bursa leads to swelling and discomfort. Some of the primary causes of bursitis in knee include:
The cause is different for everyone: A sharp, sudden blow to the knee, or just walking through the house, could trigger bursitis of the knee. Onset of symptoms is usually pretty gradual yet it can also happen very suddenly. If you suspect you have bursitis knee, talk to your doctor for a professional diagnosis (if needed) and to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Knee bursitis is fairly common, but some groups of people are more likely to develop the condition than others. Those at high risk include:
Runners and athletes place pressure on the knees and often risk direct impact and injury. Athletes are among the most frequent sufferers of bursitis in knees.
Those who work on their knees for extended periods or who place pressure on them regularly are at a greater risk of developing bursitis. This includes plumbers, gardeners, flooring installers, and carpenters.
More weight means increased pressure on the knee and bursa, which often triggers bursitis. Obese people often experience knee pain, along with additional health risks that can predispose them to joint injuries.
Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other illnesses that affect the joints lead to an increased risk of inflammation and bursitis.
Early identification can help reduce the severity of bursitis and make it easier to control. Identifying symptoms of knee bursitis is very important for a speedy recovery—and for managing the injury without invasive treatments. Yet, many of these symptoms are common for other knee injuries as well. Here are common symptoms of bursitis in the knee.
It can be difficult to tell whether your knee soreness or swelling is bursitis. Luckily, if symptoms are mild to moderate you can start a general treatment program for knee health that will promote recovery. However, if symptoms are more severe you may want to seek help first. This might require an exam from your doctor or physical therapist first to make sure you are properly addressing your knee deficits.
Your doctor may use the following methods to render a diagnosis.
What treatments are best for your knee depends on your symptoms and severity. Typically, the healing process is initiated with home remedies to promote rest, blood flow, and pain relief. If your bursitis developed due to faulty movement patterns (common), you may need to complete a round of physical therapy. On the other hand, if swelling is severe, there are more invasive options available like surgical removal, needle aspiration, or a cortisone injection. Lastly, if there is an infection present a round of antibiotics may be to be prescribed.
How long does knee bursitis last? Recovery time varies significantly depending on the patient and treatment plan. Less severe cases may heal within a few weeks while more severe injuries may require a few months. Of course, surgery typically requires more recovery time, but mild symptoms can be managed and reduced over time rather quickly.
Bursitis of the knee can make it difficult to tolerate normal daily activities that require weight-bearing, like walking or standing. Luckily it is treatable, and a quick diagnosis and treatment is key to reducing its severity and keeping your life on track.
Next Pages:How to Treat & Relieve Knee Bursitis