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Home » Anatomy » Pes Anserine Bursitis: Understanding the Pain on the Inside of Your Knee

Pes Anserine Bursitis: Understanding the Pain on the Inside of Your Knee

Pes Anserine Bursitis, also known as Pes Anserine Pain Syndrome (PAPS), is an inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac located between the three tendons (semitendinosus, gracilis, and sartorius) that insert into the shinbone (tibia) just below the knee joint. This inflammation causes pain, tenderness, and swelling on the inside of the knee, typically 2-3 inches below the kneecap.

Understanding Pes Anserine Bursitis

The bursa plays a crucial role in reducing friction and allowing smooth movement between the tendons and the bone. When this bursa becomes inflamed, it can lead to pain, tenderness, and swelling in the area.

Causes of Pes Anserine Bursitis

Several factors can contribute to the development of Pes Anserine Bursitis, including:

  • Repetitive overuse: Activities that put repetitive stress on the knee, such as running, jumping, squatting, and climbing stairs, can irritate the bursa and lead to inflammation.
  • Tight hamstring muscles: Tight hamstring muscles can pull on the tendons that insert into the bursa, causing friction and inflammation.
  • Direct injury: A direct blow to the knee, such as falling or colliding with another person, can damage the bursa and trigger inflammation.
  • Underlying conditions: Conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout can increase the risk of bursitis.

Symptoms of Pes Anserine Bursitis

The primary symptom of Pes Anserine Bursitis is pain on the inside of the knee, typically just below the kneecap. This pain may worsen with activity, particularly when climbing stairs, running, or squatting. Other symptoms may include:

  • Tenderness to the touch in the affected area
  • Swelling around the bursa
  • Decreased range of motion in the knee
  • Difficulty walking or running

Diagnosis of Pes Anserine Bursitis

Diagnosis of Pes Anserine Bursitis typically involves a physical examination by a doctor or physical therapist. They will assess your pain, range of motion, and tenderness to identify the affected area. Imaging studies like X-rays or MRI may be ordered to rule out other causes of knee pain.

Treatment Options for Pes Anserine Bursitis

Treatment for Pes Anserine Bursitis focuses on reducing inflammation and pain, allowing the bursa to heal. Common treatment options include:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that aggravate the pain, allowing the bursa to rest and recover.
  • Ice application: Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to reduce inflammation.
  • Compression: Wear a knee brace or compression bandage to provide support and reduce swelling.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the knee, improve flexibility, and correct biomechanical imbalances that contribute to bursitis.
  • Cortisone injections: In severe cases, a cortisone injection may be administered to provide localized relief of pain and inflammation.

Prevention of Pes Anserine Bursitis

To prevent Pes Anserine Bursitis, it is important to:

  • Warm up properly before physical activity and cool down afterward.
  • Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce stress on the knee joints.
  • Strengthen the muscles around the knee with regular exercises.
  • Wear supportive footwear that provides good arch support and cushioning.


What is the difference between Pes Anserine Bursitis and tendinitis?

Pes Anserine Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, while tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon itself. Both conditions can cause pain and tenderness around the knee, but Pes Anserine Bursitis specifically affects the area just below the kneecap on the inside of the knee.

How long does it take for Pes Anserine Bursitis to heal?

Recovery time for Pes Anserine Bursitis varies depending on the severity of the inflammation and the individual’s overall health. With proper treatment and rest, most cases resolve within a few weeks to months.

Can I still exercise with Pes Anserine Bursitis?

Mild cases of Pes Anserine Bursitis may allow for low-impact exercises like swimming or stationary cycling. However, it is important to avoid activities that aggravate the pain, such as running, jumping, or squatting, until the bursitis has healed.

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