image showing different part of knee and pointing Suprapatellar Bursa

Suprapatellar Bursitis: Symptoms ,Diagnosis ,Treatment

Suprapatellar Bursitis

Have you ever heard of bursa? It is a fluid-filled sac in your body that helps pad and diminish friction among bones, joint ligaments, and tendons. However, there are several bursas in your body. One major bursa located above your knee is known as the suprapatellar bursa. This bursa enables your quad tendons to move over your thigh bone quickly when you flex and straighten your knee. While it is a significant part of your knee, it is highly susceptible to suprapatellar bursitis that can majorly disturb your life.

What Problem Can Occur?

A direct hit, fall, injury and frequent kneeling or jumping can make your bursa swollen or irritated, and it may trigger bursitis. It usually occurs on your overworked joints like the shoulder, elbow, or knee. In majority cases, it is a short-term joint irritation, and does not trigger long-lasting damage until you continue to pressurize that area. However, suprapatellar bursitis is a prevalent knee problem, and happens when the suprapatellar bursa becomes swollen and hurts your knee.

What are the Symptoms?

So, if bursitis has hit your suprapatellar, you may experience the below-mentioned symptoms in your knee joint:

  • Dull pain or tenderness

  • Inflammation and Redness

  • Warmth

  • Limited Knee rom

You are likely to feel these symptoms when your affected region gets stressed due to strenuous activities like kowtowing, jumping, exercising, and playing sports. However, these symptoms might also disturb you while you are at rest.

Moreover, depending on what has triggered bursitis in your body, the signs and symptoms might hit you suddenly or eventually. For instance, if your routine activities (like sports, job activities, or workouts) place high pressure on your knee, you are likely to experience sudden symptoms. On the contrary, the symptoms may appear gradually if the region has been repeatedly used or experiences high stress like kneeling for long periods.

What are the Causes?

This condition is caused due to many reasons, some of which are as follows:

  • A direct hit or injury to the specific bursa

  • Regular and repeated pressure on the knee due to prolonged kneeling or jumping.

  • Bacteriological infection in your knee.

  • Swollen knee due to other complicated knee conditions like chondrosis or gout.

How to Diagnose?

If you observe any of the bursitis signs (mentioned above), it is highly recommended to visit a specialist. So, your doctor is likely to review your medical history and examine your knee in the following manner:

  • Contrast conditions of both your knees.

  • Test the range of motion of the problematic knee.

  • The doctor will feel the region around your problematic knee to check for inflammation, sensitivity, or warmth.

  • They may also check if there is an infection in your bursa. For this, the physicians are likely to recommend imaging tests (MRI, X-rays, or ultrasound) to visualize your knee's condition accurately.  

  • Moreover, your consultant may request blood tests to affirm or exclude other conditions that are susceptible to affecting your knee.

Hence, if the suprapatellar bursa is confirmed, your physician may use a thin needle to extract a tiny amount of fluid from the bursa for examination. This approach is regarded as aspiration.

What is the Treatment?

Medical Treatment

The treatment of this condition may include:

  • Resting

  • Staying away from strenuous activities that may disturb your knee

  • Over-the-Counter medication that may help alleviate pain, swelling, and inflammation.

  • Ice therapy; applying ice packs on the affected region to regulate swelling and inflammation. (Note: Direct ice application is not recommended, always wrap it in a piece of cloth.)

  • Use knee support to stabilize and restrict the movement of your knee.

  • However, if your condition is not improving through the standard treatment (as above), your consultant may inject a corticosteroid into the problematic region to reduce swelling and inflammation. This treatment is only possible if there is no infection.

Though, in a few cases, your physician might recommend physiotherapy that helps strengthen and improve your knee flexion. It is also an ideal approach to cut down stress on your knee and reduce the risk of relapse.

However, if your case is severe, your doctor may treat it through drainage or invasive removal of the inflamed bursa.

Non-Medical Treatment

If you want to opt for a non-medical treatment of bursitis, you can perform simple knee muscle strengthening exercises in your routine. It will help maintain your muscular health and prevent the recurrence of bursitis.

Ideally, you must consult a doctor or physiotherapist for specific exercises. However, some of the common stretches and workouts to treat this condition include:

Standing Quads Stretches

  • Flex your knee, move your heel up to your buttocks.

  • Grip your ankle and force it nearer to your body.

  • Maintain it for thirty seconds or a minute.

  • You can repeat it two to three times

  • Then, shift to the other leg

Leg Extensions

  • Sit straight in a solid chair.

  • Start to stiff your quad muscles and gradually lift one of your lower legs to correspond to the ground.

  • Maintain this position for about five seconds.

  • Perform three sets of these exercises (10 times for each leg).

  • You may also consider adding 1-2 kg ankle weight to ease your efforts.

Hamstring Curls

  • Grip the back of a chair

  • Flex your knee in a way that your heel gets lifted towards the roof.

  • Hold it for five seconds.

  • Repeat three sets of this exercise (10 times for each leg).

  • Similar to leg extensions, you may add some ankle weight to ease the hamstring curls exercise.

How to Prevent?

So, if you are suffering from dull pain or tenderness, inflammation and redness, warmth and limited motion, you can follow the below-mentioned guidelines to prevent bursitis in your knee:

  • Regular exercising to maintain weight and reduce pressure on your knees

  • If you must kneel for prolonged periods, you should wear kneepads and take frequent breaks to stretch your muscles. However, if a kneepad is not available, you may use a cushion to help reduce strain on your knees.

  • Stay away from aggressive activities that entail repeated knee movements. Choose a workout combination that helps prevent overuse of the knee joints.

  • Always warm up before exercising. Also, cooling down after a workout is equally important. These precautions help reduce pressure on your joints.

  • Opt for a slow approach when beginning a new exercise regime or elevating your workout intensity.

Premier Pain Centre

Only a trusted doctor can help you recover from suprapatellar bursitis quickly and safely. So, if you want a flawless experience, Premier Pain Centre is your ultimate destination.  

Categories