Dealing With Knee Bursitis

The term “knee bursitis” is used to describe a condition or injury in which the fluid-filled sac within the knee becomes inflamed. This sac, known as the bursa, creates a soft, sponge-like surface on which the knee can glide. When the bursa becomes inflamed, however, fluid builds up and pushes outwards, often resulting in pain, disomfort and limited mobility.

While symptoms of knee bursitis vary on a case-by-case basis, the single most commonly reported symptoms is pain. Pain levels can range from mild to severe, or anywhere in between. Some people may even develop cellulitis of the knee when bursitis causes infection to set in. This is why it’s important to have your condition properly diagnosed, at which point you can take the necessary actions to treat it.

It’s not uncommon for people — and even some medical practitioners — to mistake knee bursitis for a fracture and/or arthritis. Symptoms of knee bursitis are very similar to both stress fractures and osteoarthritis, which is why so many people mistake this condition. Thankfully, diagnosis is relatively easy when performed in a proper medical setting. The doctor or practitioner can perform a physical examination of the patient’s knee to determine whether or not it’s filled with an excessive amount of fluid. If the knee is in fact filled with fluid, the doctor may draw blood to see if it’s become infected. Allowing the bursa fluid to become infected is a serious problem that can lead to other issues later down the road.

It should come as no surprise that knee bursitis is often triggered by overuse of the leg muscles. Athletes, for instance, often develop this condition as a result of extensive physical activity. When you run or jog for long periods of time, the constant stress/pressure placed on the knee may cause inflammation, which subsequently results in fluid buildup.

So, how can you prevent knee bursitis? Be conscious of your body and allow yourself ample time to rest. Taking short breaks during exercises and workouts will allow your body to recover, reducing the risk of bursitis. And if you notice swelling on or around the knee, place an icepack on it to help subside the swelling.

If you suffer from knee bursitis, give us a call. Sign up for an appointment at or give us a call at 205-424-8400.