What is a Kneecap Bursitis?

Near the knee cap are three major bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that act as a cushion to reduce friction between bones, tendons and muscles in this unique area. When one of the bursa becomes inflamed, it produces excess fluid and swells. It then places pressure on the surrounding regions. The prepatellar bursa, located just over the kneecap bone, is particularly susceptible to bursitis.


The bursae in the knee area may be damaged by:

  • A direct blow or hard impact to the front of the knee
  • Sports-related injuries, especially in football, wrestling or basketball
  • Constant kneeling, as often seen in gardening, carpet laying, plumbing or roofing
  • A bacterial infection, typically seen in conjunction with a puncture wound
  • Other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and diabetes
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Obesity and excess weight


Kneecap bursitis usually becomes evident due to:

  • Swelling over the kneecap
  • Limited mobility
  • Red knees that are warm to the touch
  • Pain and tenderness in the knee and up the back of the thigh
  • Increased pain and discomfort while kneeling

The OrthoCARE Treatment Approach

Although kneecap bursitis may initially manifest as a mild irritation, the bursa can quickly become infected. Because of this possibility, it is important to seek prompt medical attention if you suspect you might be suffering from kneecap bursitis.

At OrthoCARE Institute, a division of the vertically-integrated Lumin Health system, we are committed to providing innovative, patient-centric care for your kneecap bursitis. Upon your visit, one of our experienced orthopedic physicians will examine your condition in order to determine the underlying cause behind your bursitis and whether or not the bursa is infected. If your doctor is concerned about infection, he or she may aspirate (draw fluid from) the bursa in order to analyze its contents. After obtaining a complete diagnosis, our team will create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique condition and health history.

If bursitis is not accompanied by infection, it can sometimes be treated through conservative methods. Rest, ice and compresses may reduce pain and restore function to the knee. If the kneecap bursitis does not respond to initial treatments, corticosteroid injections may be implemented to quickly reduce inflammation. Severe, chronic bursitis involving infection may require intravenous antibiotic therapy or the surgical drainage and removal of the affected bursa sac.

If you are suffering from kneecap bursitis, call us directly at 972-255-5588 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page. We look forward to helping you achieve relief from this debilitating condition, so that you can get back to participating in the activities you love!

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