Bursitis of the knee is a disease of an inflammatory nature. It affects periarticular bursa of your knees with further accumulation of fluid in it. Knee joint is the most vulnerable due to its position and fragility, which is why you should pay a special attention to it.
Causes of Bursitis of Knee Joints
The main causes of knee bursitis include:
- sustained load on your knee joints that keep your muscles in a constant tension, making them thinner. It especially affects hamstring muscles;
- skin damage around your knee joint can be a catalyst for infection penetration;
- an open wound or severe injury of your knee;
- any form of sepsis can cause formation of numerous cysts;
- too much body weight provides a significant load on your knee joint, causing weakness;
- associated diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and psoriasis. You have to be especially careful if you have one of these diseases, because they provoke chronic form of bursitis.
Moreover, each type of bursitis has its own triggers.
Symptoms of Bursitis in Knee
Signs indicating bursitis in knee joint include:
- changes in natural shape of your knee;
- slight swelling of your soft tissue;
- redness and changes in your skin temperature;
- inability to bend your knee.
The severity and nature of the knee bursitis symptoms depend on the type of bursitis and its location.
Knee Bursitis Pictures
Types of Knee Bursitis
There are three types of bursitis of the knee: infrapatellar, suprapatellar and prepatellar bursitis. A special place in this classification is taken by Baker’s cyst, which resembles tumors in the popliteal area and septic patellar bursitis.
The name of each types of bursitis is given due to the type of inflamed knee joint bursa. For example, if your prepatellar bursa is affected, you have prepatellar bursitis. If your damaged bursa remains without treating, it becomes inflamed and even suppurated. It is what doctors call the last stage of knee bursitis. Its location can cause problems with treatment and even diagnosis.
Prepatellar Bursitis of Knee Joint
This type of bursitis is located in the upper part of your knee. This pathology emerges above your patella. You feel pain when bending and straightening your knee. Prepatellar bursitis pain increase after physical exercises or running.
It is rather easy to diagnose and treat this type of bursitis. This disease is most common among people over 60 years and it becomes chronic as a rule. In this case, it is almost impossible or ineffective to cure prepatellar bursitis. People with this disease can lose ability to move.
Baker’s cyst is a new growth in the pit below your knee, which is soft and elastic when touched. Your skin above the cyst remains of a natural color and it has no commissures to the adjacent tissues. Thus, the new growth can be easily identified by touch even if you are not a medical expert.
The growth is most visible when your knee is in unbent condition. In the process of bending your knee the cyst becomes smaller or disappears. If the new growth is big, it may appear as a lateral swelling in your knee joint.
The main complaints of patients with this type of bursitis include:
- discomfort, feeling of pressure and pain in the area below your knee;
- swelling in this area;
- inability to move your knee joint;
- sudden blocking of your knee muscles.
Treatment of Baker’s cyst can be either conservative or surgical. Surgery is much more effective and is commonly used.
Infrapatellar Bursitis of Knee Joint
Infrapatellar bursitis is inflammation of the bursa under your kneecap near the main tendon. It can be of a traumatic nature, because the usual reason for this bursitis is an injury or trauma of tendons near this synovial capsule.
Mostly, it is an occupational disease that occurs in athletes, runners and jumpers. Therefore it is very often becomes chronic and can be even genetically conditioned.
Septic Bursitis in Knee Joint
This form of the disease occurs as a consequence of infection, which, in its turn, develops as a consequence of exposure to the active microbes.
Microbes can penetrate through the injured skin or minor trauma. In some cases microbes which are inside your body can cause inflammation of periarticular bursa alongside with provoking diseases in other organs and tissues of your body.
This form is severe and it is necessary to carry out knee bursitis treatment as soon as possible, because it can end up with a formation of gangrene and amputation of your limb.
A characteristic feature of this type is a presence of a round tumor at the top of your knee, which does not hurt. However, it is soft and is up to 10 centimeters in size. Patients also face serious signs of this illness, such as malaise, pain in their knee, reducing of mobility of the knee joint, fever, which does not disappear during a day.
In certain cases, this type of bursitis is likely to transform into chronic bursitis due to deposits of calcium salts in your joint. With such a diagnosis you have to be operated to remove all the deposits from your joint.
Knee Bursitis Treatment
Remember that only a specialist can make a correct diagnosis. Therefore do not treat your knee pain with doubtful home remedies, go to a doctor instead. Your therapist will ask you to undergo some analyses, perhaps to make an X ray scanning and he or she will examine your condition. Only after a thorough inspection you doctor will prescribe medical treatment and corresponding physical therapy.
If we talk about the aseptic bursitis, conservative methods of treatment will be sufficient for a quick recovery. First of all, you should rest and keep your knee in a bit lifted position. This is done to reduce the blood flow to the knee area, which immediately reduces pain and swelling.
Apply ice compresses to your knee several times a day and leave them for about twenty minutes. The specialist will likely advise some simple and effective exercises to provide an optimal level of mobility of your knee.
When inflammation causes severe pain, your doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory orally or as a cream. If there is a suspicion of infection, a specialist will prescribe antibiotics.
To reduce the volume of fluid in the affected bursa doctors use fluid pumping. This procedure significantly reduces edema and pain. Samples of this liquid are sent for analysis to a special laboratory, which makes it possible to find out which antibiotics are best to deal with a specific flora.
Those who suffered bursitis of the knee joint should periodically use special knee brace. It will provide necessary knee support and compression effect will reduce stress on your knee joint. In addition, all people with bursitis have to exclude manipulations which can provide stress on the knee area. Together with the drugs it is necessary to do massage and physiotherapy.
Thus, there are many methods of treatment of knee bursitis today and each of them is effective. That is why it is important to notice symptoms of the disease in time and address a doctor, because in this case it is possible to get rid of bursitis within a few weeks without serious emotional and material costs.