Knee Bursitis (cont.)

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What are knee bursitis symptoms and signs?

Bursitis can lead to varying degrees of swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness in the overlying area of the knee. As compared with knee joint inflammation (arthritis), it is usually only mildly painful. It is frequently associated with increased pain when kneeling and can cause stiffness and pain with walking. Also, in contrast to problems within the knee joint, the range of motion of the knee is frequently preserved.

How is knee bursitis diagnosed?

Bursitis of the knee is diagnosed based upon the typical location of a bursa displaying signs of inflammation including knee pain, tenderness, stiffness, and sometimes redness and warmth. Typically, there is point tenderness at the site of the inflamed bursa.

How is prepatellar bursitis of the knee treated? Are there home remedies for knee bursitis?

The treatment of any bursitis depends on whether or not it involves infection. Aseptic prepatellar bursitis can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Occasionally, it requires aspiration of the bursa fluid. This procedure involves removal of the fluid with a needle and syringe under sterile conditions and can be performed in the doctor's office. Sometimes the fluid is sent to the laboratory for further analysis. Noninfectious knee bursitis can also be treated with an injection of cortisone medication into the swollen bursa. Cortisone injections are sometimes done at the same time as the aspiration procedure.

Septic bursitis requires even further evaluation and treatment. The bursal fluid can be examined in the laboratory to identify the microbes causing the infection. It requires antibiotic therapy, often intravenously. Repeated aspiration of the inflamed fluid may be required. Surgical drainage and removal of the infected bursa sac (bursectomy) may also be necessary.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/14/2014

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