While you may initially consult your family physician, he or she may refer you to a rheumatologist — a doctor who specializes in arthritis and other joint disorders — or an orthopedic surgeon.
What you can do
You may want to write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you've had
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
For knee bursitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Will I need to have any tests done?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- Will I need to limit my activities?
- Are there any self-care measures I can try?
- Do you have any informational brochures I can take home with me? What websites do your recommend for information about my condition?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will conduct an examination to determine the cause of knee pain. He or she may begin with questions that can help distinguish bursitis from other disorders:
April 24, 2014
- When did your pain begin?
- Did it begin suddenly or gradually?
- What kind of work or recreational activities do you do that may affect your knees?
- Does your pain occur or worsen when doing certain activities, such as kneeling or climbing stairs?
- Have you recently fallen, been in an accident or suffered a blow to your knee?
- What kind of treatments have you tried at home?
- What effect did those treatments have?
- Chatra PS. Bursae around the knee joints. Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging. 2012;22:27.
- Anderson BC. Knee bursitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 2, 2014.
- Questions and answers about bursitis and tendinitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bursitis/. Accessed Jan. 2, 2014.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 2, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 2, 2014.
- Prepatellar (kneecap) bursitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00338. Accessed Jan. 2, 2014.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 6, 2014.