Patellar BursitisPatellar bursitis is commonly referred to as housemaid’s knees. It is a condition where there is swelling and pain in the upper kneecap. Prepatellar bursitis is a common occurrence among those whose jobs entail kneeling down for a long time and is common among gardeners or carpet layers.

The bursa is a small sac filled with lubricating fluid and when it becomes inflamed or irritated, it is known as bursitis. The result is a swelling above the kneecap with pain or limited motion of the knee.

Facts and Factors Of Patellar Bursitis

Patellar bursitis occurs when the bursa gets filled with blood. There are three main types of knee bursae. The tip consists of the prepatellar bursa, which can become inflamed, known as the housemaid’s knee. The infrapatellar bursa is located below the kneecap and injury usually occurs due to jumping and athletics, known as the jumper’s knee.

The third one is known as the anserine bursa and is found in the inner lower side. This problem usually occurs in middle aged women and is more common among obese people. This could be due to its overuse or due to an injury during athletics. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are also at risk of patellar bursitis. When the overlying skin gets punctured, it might also become infected with bacteria. There can be several levels of swelling and tenderness in the area. The pain increases when one kneels and you might also experience difficulty in walking.

Treatment Options

Normally, if the patellar bursitis is non-infectious, it can be treated using ice and resting the area. You can also use medications for reducing the inflammation and pain. However, if it becomes infected by bacteria, you will need to treat it with antibiotics. Aspiration, involving the removal of the fluid by means of a needle and a syringe can also be done by your doctor. Cortisone medication along with aspiration works for non-infectious conditions. If the bursitis is infected, the microbes have to be identified and an antibiotic therapy has to be given. The infected bursal sac has to be surgically drained, being known as bursectomy. An x-ray is usually recommended in order to rule out any fracture. Surgical removal of the bursa can be done quite simply, as it is just an outpatient procedure and after a few days, the knee regains its former flexibility and you can resume your normal activities within a few weeks.

Steps to Take

If there is no infection in the patellar bursitis, it is possible to treat it using traditional methods, such as taking rest. Just discontinue the activities that led to the condition in the first place. Avoid kneeling down. Apply ice to the area, at least three to four times a day for about twenty minutes at a time. The swelling reduces considerably with this treatment.

It is also advisable to keep the leg elevated whenever sitting or lying down. Anti-inflammatory medications can also prove effective. You can also take some preventive measures by wearing kneepads on the knees, especially in case of contact sports, such as wrestling or football. Try stretching the legs from time to time. Try switching activities regularly, so that the knee is not strained in a prolonged manner. After finishing a workout, it is a good idea to apply ice to the knees and keep the feet elevated for some time.

The Cure

Nonsurgical Treatment

  • Rest and anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen,
  • For early stages, physical therapy is recommended,
  • A specific protocol of exercises may be needed when rehabilitating this injury,

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is rarely needed when a wide range of protective measures, ice, support, relative rest and rehab are used. However, surgical treatment may be suggested if nonsurgical treatment fails to improve your condition. Damaged and weak tissues are removed and the injured tendon repaired. Tissue remodeling through surgery can restore function.

Arthroscopic procedures can usually be done on an outpatient basis. If your problem requires a more involved surgical procedure then it may take one or two days. NOTE: Ask our doctor the OPTIONS available to you.

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