Knee bursitis signs and symptoms may vary, depending on which bursa is affected and what precisely is causing the inflammation.
In general, the affected portion of your knee may feel warm, tender and swollen when you put pressure on it. You may also feel pain when you move or even at rest.
A sharp blow to the knee can cause symptoms to appear rapidly. But most cases of knee bursitis result from repetitive injuries — sustained in jobs that require a lot of kneeling — so symptoms usually begin gradually and may worsen over time.
When to see a doctor
The bursa that lies over your kneecap can sometimes become infected. Call your doctor if you have a fever in addition to pain and swelling in your knee.
Apr. 24, 2014
- 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.