What is bursitis?
A bursa is a closed, fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. When a bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is known as bursitis. This can cause swelling, warmth, and tenderness in the affected area. Most commonly, bursitis is caused by local soft-tissue trauma or strain injury, and there is no infection (aseptic bursitis). The bursa can become infected with bacteria on rare occasions, particularly when the immune system is suppressed. This condition is called septic bursitis.
What are the causes of knee bursitis?
- • Bursitis of the knee can occur when the bursa fills with blood from injury and overuse, such as from athletic competition.
- • Bursitis can also occur from rheumatoid arthritis and deposits of crystals, as seen in patients with gouty arthritis and pseudogout.
- • The prepatellar bursa can also become infected with bacteria (septic bursitis). When this happens, fever may be present. This type of infection usually occurs from breaks in the overlying skin or puncture wounds.
What does knee bursitis feel like?
- • Bursitis can lead to varying degrees of swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness in the overlying area of the knee.
- • As compared with knee joint inflammation (arthritis), it is usually only mildly painful.
- • It is frequently associated with increased pain when kneeling and can cause stiffness and pain with walking.
- • Range of motion of the knee is frequently preserved, and the swelling is outside the joint
How do you manage knee bursitis?
- • The treatment of any bursitis depends on whether or not it involves infection
- • Non-infectious (aseptic) pre-patellar bursitis can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
- • When ice packs and anti-inflammatory drugs are ineffective, knee bursitis can require removing the fluid with a needle and syringe under sterile conditions and a local cortisone injection. This procedure can be performed in the doctor's office.
- • Non-infectious knee bursitis can also be treated with an injection of cortisone medication into the swollen bursa.
- • Septic bursitis requires even further evaluation and treatment. The bursal fluid can be examined in the laboratory to identify the microbes causing the infection. It requires antibiotic therapy, often intravenously. Repeated aspiration of the inflamed fluid may be required. Surgical drainage and removal of the infected bursa sac (bursectomy) may also be necessary.
Physical Therapy Management
Your physical therapist can design a tailored treatment program for you to help speed your recovery and help you return to your normal lifestyle and activity level.
The treatment protocol will depend on the severity of the condition and will mainly concentrate on the following areas:
- 1. Reducing pain and swelling using various therapeutic modalities and helping you understand how to modify the activities to enhance speedy recovery.
- 2. Improving the joint movements
- 3. Improving flexibility through stretching and teaching you self-stretch.
- 4. Improving strength and endurance through a customized home exercise program
- 5. Improving balance.
What is the future outlook of knee bursitis?
The outlook for knee bursitis is generally magnificent. Mild bursitis resolves spontaneously with rest. More significant bursitis can require medications (either taken by mouth or locally injected) to reduce inflammation. Infectious bursitis requires drainage, possible minor surgery, and antibiotics..
Telehealth to Your Rescue
During these times of global pandemic, it can be challenging to find the help you need to maintain your joint health. But with telerehabilitation services, you can get the benefits of physical therapy from the comfort of your home without worrying about exposure or transport. TheraNow, one of the best telerehabilitation services with excellent expertise in the field of online physical therapy with our team of virtual physical therapists, is waiting to provide you the care you need to get your life back in its happy place. You can book your appointment by visiting us at Theranow: Online Physical Therapy Services