Knee Bursitis Symptoms and Causes

A bursa (plural- bursae) is a small fluid filled sac that reduces friction at pressure points between bones and the tendons and muscles near a joint. Bursa also help to cushion the pressure and act like a pad. Bursitis is inflammation of bursa and knee bursitis is inflammation of bursa at knee joint due to any reason.

Each knee has 11 bursae and in knee bursitis, any of the bursae may be inflamed (theoretically). However, most commonly involved are bursa over the kneecap and inner side of the knee.

What are the symptoms of knee bursitis?

The signs and symptoms of knee bursitis vary according to the cause of the inflammation and also depending on which bursa is inflamed. Pain in the inflamed area as well limitation of mobility are common symptoms. The pain may be when one moves or even at rest, pain may be there. The affected/inflamed area may feel warm to touch (as well as feeling of warmth), and swelling may occur in the area. Most commonly symptoms of knee bursitis appear slowly, because in most cases, knee bursitis occurs due to repetitive minor injury to bursa, hence, symptoms may worsen over time. Knee bursitis can occur if your job involves keeling. However, symptoms may also appear rapidly if knee bursitis is due to sharp blow or sharp and forceful impact to knee.

What are the possible causes of knee bursitis?

Knee bursitis can be caused by,

  • Sustained pressure over knee as well as frequent pressure over knee, as one kneels, especially if your job involves kneeling regularly
  • Complications of other knee and bone problems, such as osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis etc. that involve knees
  • As a result of direct blow to your knee, knee bursitis can occur. In such cases symptoms develop rapidly, although in most cases of knee bursitis, symptoms appear gradually and worsen over time.
  • Infection of the bursa by bacteria, it is not common cause of knee bursitis.


Image courtesy of [stockdevil] at

Related Posts

Leave a Comment