Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Depending on which parts of your knee are affected, your doctor may recommend one or more treatment approaches.


Medications for treating knee bursitis may include:

  • Corticosteroid injection. Your doctor can inject a corticosteroid drug directly into an affected bursa to reduce inflammation. The inflammation usually subsides rapidly, but you may experience pain and swelling from the injection for a couple of days.
  • Antibiotics. If an infection has caused the knee bursitis, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotic treatment.


Possible therapies needed for knee bursitis treatment may include:

  • Aspiration. Your doctor may aspirate a bursa to reduce excess fluid and treat inflammation. He or she will insert a needle directly into the affected bursa and draw fluid into the syringe. As with a corticosteroid injection, aspiration may cause short-term pain and swelling.
  • Physical therapy. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist or specialist in sports medicine, who can help you learn appropriate exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles. This therapy may alleviate pain and reduce your risk of recurring episodes of knee bursitis.


If you have severe chronic bursitis and don't respond to other treatments, your doctor may recommend that the bursa be removed surgically.

May. 03, 2011