Prepatellar Bursitis – Housemaid’s Knee

Prepatellar bursitis occurs when the bursa in the front portion of your knee becomes irritated or inflamed. A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac found between your skin and bone or tendon. The bursa affected in prepatellar bursitis is the prepatellar bursa, which is located between just in front of your kneecap. Prepatellar bursitis is sometimes called housemaid’s knee or kneecap bursitis.


Prepatellar bursitis may be caused by
  • An overuse injury
  • Repeated kneeling or kneeling for long periods
  • Direct blow or falling on the knee during certain sports activities
  • Arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis or gout


Common symptoms of prepatellar bursitis may include
  • Pain in front of the knee
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty moving the injured knee

If you experience severe pain and swelling, especially after a blow to your knee or a fall, you should consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.


What you can do about your Prepatellar Bursitis

Mild symptoms can be managed with modified rest, applying ice, elevating your injured limb, and taking pain medication.
  • Rest. Stop your activity and take some time to rest.

  • Ice. Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time, every 3 to 4 hours for the first few days or until your swelling subsides. Remember to wrap the ice pack with towel and avoid letting the pack stand for more than 20 minutes to prevent frostbite injury. Icing can help relieve your pain and swelling.

  • Elevation. Elevate your injured limb above the level of your heart to help minimize swelling.

  • Taking pain medications may also help relieve your symptoms.

Your doctor may decide to remove some fluid in your bursa if you have severe swelling. Other treatment options may include
  • Bandaging
  • Physical Therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery (severe cases)

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