Knee Bursitis (cont.)

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What are causes of knee bursitis?

Bursitis of the knee can occur when the bursa fills with blood from injury and overuse, such as from athletic competition. Bursitis can also occur from rheumatoid arthritis and from deposits of crystals, as seen in patients with gouty arthritis and pseudogout. The prepatellar bursa can also become infected with bacteria (septic bursitis). When this happens, fever may be present. This type of infection usually occurs from breaks in the overlying skin or puncture wounds. The bacteria involved in septic bursitis of the knee are usually those that normally cover the skin, called Staphylococcus. Rarely, a chronically inflamed bursa can become infected by bacteria spreading through the blood.

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 pain, tenderness, stiffness, and sometimes redness and warmth. Typically, there is point tenderness at the site of the inflamed bursa.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/27/2012

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