Bursae are small, jelly-like sacs that are located throughout the body, including around the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and heel. They contain a small amount of fluid, and are positioned between bones and soft tissues, acting as cushions to help reduce friction.
Prepatellar bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa in the front of the kneecap (patella). It occurs when the bursa becomes irritated and produces too much fluid, which causes it to swell and put pressure on the adjacent parts of the knee.
People who work on their knees such as carpenters, athletes who play sports where the chances of falling are high, are more prone to Prepatellar Bursitis.
In case of infection, the knee becomes very tender and warm to touch. You may experience fever and chills. Pus may form on the front of the knee. If the infection is not treated quickly, the abscess may even begin to drain, meaning the pus begins to seep out.
As long as the bursa is inflamed and not infected, non-surgical methods of treatment are effective. For infections, antibiotics are prescribed.
The first and foremost is resting from activities that worsen the symptoms. Application of ice also helps in reducing the inflammation.
If the bursa remains filled with fluid, a needle may be used to drain it out.
To improve and strengthen the muscles flexibility, your physiotherapist will suggest exercises working on the quadricep muscles, hamstrings and calves. These exercises help in improving the range of motion of the knee. Electric stimulation treatments have also been beneficial in healing the bursa sac.
On an average, Prepatellar Bursitis takes about 4 weeks to heal. In case none of the above work, you may have to undergo surgery to regain the movement in the knee and reduce the pain. If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms of Prepatellar Bursitis, consult your physiotherapist today and get yourself treated.