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Prepatellar Bursitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Prepatellar bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions the kneecap (patella) from the thighbone (femur). This condition causes pain, swelling, and tenderness in the front of the knee.

Prepatellar Bursitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What are the symptoms of prepatellar bursitis?

  • Pain, swelling, and tenderness in the front of the knee
  • Difficulty bending or straightening the knee
  • Redness and warmth in the affected area
  • A popping or crunching sound when moving the knee

What causes prepatellar bursitis?

Prepatellar bursitis is often cause by overuse of the knee, such as from running, jumping, or kneeling. It can also be cause by:

  • Direct trauma to the knee, such as from a fall or a blow to the knee
  • Infection
  • Inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis
  • Underlying medical conditions, such as gout or diabetes

How is prepatellar bursitis diagnosed?

  • Your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms.
  • They will examine your knee and look for signs of swelling, tenderness, and redness.
  • They may also order an X-ray or MRI to rule out other causes of pain.

How is prepatellar bursitis treated?

  • Rest: Avoid activities that cause pain, such as running, jumping, or kneeling.
  • Ice: Apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • Compression: Wear a compression bandage or brace to help support your knee and reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Elevate your knee above your heart whenever possible to help reduce swelling.
  • Over-the-counter pain medication: Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help strengthen the muscles around your knee and improve range of motion.
  • In some cases, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.

How to prevent prepatellar bursitis

  • Warm up before activities: Warming up before activities can help to prevent injuries.
  • Wear supportive shoes: Shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help to reduce the risk of prepatellar bursitis.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can put extra stress on your knees.
  • Strengthen the muscles around your knee: Strengthening the muscles around your knee can help to improve support and reduce the risk of injury.


What is the difference between prepatellar bursitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)?

Prepatellar bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, while PFPS is a pain condition that affects the patella and the femur.

How long does prepatellar bursitis take to heal?

Most cases of prepatellar bursitis heal within a few weeks with rest, ice, and compression. However, it may take longer if the condition is severe or if it is not treated properly.

Can I still exercise with prepatellar bursitis?

You should avoid activities that cause pain, such as running, jumping, or kneeling. However, you can do low-impact exercises, such as swimming or walking, to help maintain your fitness level.

What are some home remedies for prepatellar bursitis?

In addition to the treatments listed above, there are some home remedies that may help to relieve the symptoms of prepatellar bursitis. These include:

  • Applying heat to the affected area
  • Massaging the affected area
  • Taking herbal supplements, such as turmeric or ginger

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your health.

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