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Prepatellar Bursitis Treatment in Illinois

Knee Inflammation & Tenderness

Bursae are small pouches of tissue containing thin fluid-filled linings. The sacs are found throughout the body, near joints and places where ligaments connect bones. Bursae furnish soft buffers against rigid bone surfaces, helping maximize range of motion and reduce friction caused by movement. Bursitis occurs when the sacs become irritated and overfill, causing swelling and tenderness in the affected area.

Four bursae are present near the knee, but the prepatellar bursa exhibits bursitis symptoms more frequently than the other three. Affecting the thin bursa located on the front surface of the kneecap, prepatellar bursitis can set-in at any age.

Cause of Prepatellar Bursitis

The prepatellar bursa lies very close to the surface of the skin, in front of the kneecap. The thin fluid-filled sac is vulnerable to blows and overuse, often leading to inflammation and swelling. Because the bursa is on the outside of the kneecap, the joint itself does not exhibit symptoms resulting from prepatellar bursitis.

Athletic injury and job-related activities may increase the risk for developing prepatellar bursitis, including these contributing causes:

  • Repetitive kneeling: Once referred to as “housemaid’s knee” prepatellar bursitis frequently results from extended periods of kneeling. Prolonged job-related activities, such as flooring installation and roofing may increase the risk of developing bursa irritation and inflammation.
  • Acute injury: A direct blow or fall may result in an acute case of prepatellar bursitis, causing immediate swelling and discomfort. Active adults and athletes are most vulnerable to these types of injuries.
  • Infection: Common among children, certain infections near the knee may lead to prepatellar bursitis.
  • Co-existing conditions: Inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis may contribute to bursitis in the kneecap, as well as a history of gout and other crystal-depositing conditions.

Symptoms of Prepatellar Bursitis

Bursitis swelling near the kneecap may cause these symptoms:

  • Pain with activity, but not usually at night
  • Rapid swelling on front of kneecap
  • Tender and warm to the touch

Whether your knee pain is the result of a repetitive job-related activity, an infection, injury, or a co-existing condition, our experienced knee pain specialists can help. Contact Fox Valley Orthopedics today.