Prepatellar bursitis is the medical term for inflammation of the bursa outside of the patella (kneecap). You will experience pain and swelling on the kneecap. Often ice, anti- inflammatory medications, and limiting repetitive contact with the knee can help resolve the inflammation and swelling from the bursitis. Redness or warmth could indicate that the bursa is infected (septic bursitis).

Mechanism of injury

If you have prepatellar bursitis, you likely developed it over time without any specific traumatic event. It is especially common among manual laborers, such as carpenters and mechanics, who kneel frequently. Frequent kneeling puts pressure on the bursa causing it to become inflamed and swollen.

Treatment for prepatellar bursitis

Most patients can get over prepatellar bursitis without surgery. You could try icing your knee several times a day to decrease the inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications might have a similar effect. Some doctors try to remove fluid, but it often fails to get rid of the swelling. Also multiple attempts at draining the fluid potentially increases the risk of infecting the bursa, leading to a septic bursitis that often requires urgent surgery. Your doctor might drain the fluid from the bursa and inject cortisone into the bursa to try to keep the inflammation from returning.

Patient with prepatellar bursitis of the knee

Surgery for prepatellar bursitis

On rare occasions, nonsurgical treatments including rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, avoiding direct pressure on the bursa, and even repeat attempts at drainage are unsuccessful. In this case surgery can be useful.

The surgeon makes a small incision over the bursa and removes the entire bursa. Removing the bursa surgically usually successfully resolves the problem.

Also read:
Patellar dislocation of the knee: Treatment options
Patellar tendonitis: Signs, symptoms and remedies for this difficult knee problem

Discover The Solution To Your Biggest Knee Injury Challenge Even If You Have No Medical Knowledge and You’ve Looked Everywhere and Haven’t Been Able To Find an Answer!
Click here to learn more!

Recommended Products and Resources
Click here to go to Dr. David Geier’s Amazon Influencer store!
Due to a large number of questions I have received over the years asking about products for health, injuries, performance, and other areas of sports, exercise, work and life, I have created an Amazon Influencer page. While this information and these products are not intended to treat any specific injury or illness you have, they are products I use personally, have used or have tried, or I have recommended to others. THE SITE MAY OFFER HEALTH, FITNESS, NUTRITIONAL AND OTHER SUCH INFORMATION, BUT SUCH INFORMATION IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE CONTENT DOES NOT AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONVEY MEDICAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. THE SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACTIONS OR INACTION ON A USER’S PART BASED ON THE INFORMATION THAT IS PRESENTED ON THE SITE. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.