Infrapatellar Bursitis

Infrapatella bursitis

Infrapatellar bursitis is inflammation of the Infrapatellar bursa at the front of the knee. A bursa is a small sack of fluid, used to aid movement in joints. Here we explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Chaminda Goonetilleke, 31st Dec. 2021

Infrapatellar bursitis symptoms

  • Infrapatellar bursitis symptoms consist of pain at the front of the knee.
  • You will likely have swelling over the area of the infrapatellar bursa.
  • Symptoms may be similar to that of jumper’s knee (patellar tendinopathy) with pain just below the kneecap.

What is infra-patellar bursitis?

Infrapatellar bursitis is also known as clergyman’s knee. Specifically, it is inflammation of the infrapatellar bursa.

Anatomy

A bursa is a small sac of fluid whose function is to lubricate the movement between tendons and bone.

Knee bursa

The infrapatellar bursa lies deep between the patellar tendon and the upper front surface of the tibia or shin bone. Its function is to aid movement by lubricating the tendon as it moves over the bone.

What causes Infrapatella bursitis?

Friction between the skin and the bursa causes Infrapatellar bursitis. Overuse is the primary cause. It sometimes occurs in conjunction with Jumper’s knee.

Treatment of infrapatellar bursitis

Rest

Rest is important to allow the inflamed bursa to settle down. This means either modifying activities for a while, or complete rest for a few days. Avoid kneeling because this increases direct pressure on your knee and is most likely to aggravate the symptoms.

Cold therapy

Apply cold therapy and compression to help to reduce the pain and swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Wrap in a wet tea towel, or use a commercially available hot & cold wrap.

Medication

A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen but don’t take if you have asthma.

Aspiration

Infrapatellar bursitis treatment - aspirating the bursa
Aspirating the knee drains fluid out of the swollen bursa.

If conservative treatment fails then a doctor may aspirate the bursa. This involves draining fluid from the bursa with a needle and syringe.

Injections

Often corticosteroid injection into the bursa is an option.

Surgery

Surgery to remove the bursa is a last resort.

Related articles

  • Knee bursitis

    Knee bursitis is inflammation of a small sac of fluid called a bursa. There is a number in the knee joint and their function is…

  • Anterior interosseous syndrome

    Anterior Interosseous Syndrome is entrapment a branch of the Median nerve, just above the elbow. The nerve becomes compressed, causing symptoms of pain in the…

  • Bursitis

    Bursitis is inflammation of a small sack of fluid called a bursa. There are approximately 160 in the body, located in joints between tendon and…

  • Patella tendon rupture

    A patella tendon rupture or patella tendon strain is a partial, or complete tear of the patella tendon at the front of the knee. Medically…

  • Peptic Ulcer

    Peptic Ulcers (stomach ulcers) are open sores that develop on the inside wall of the stomach. They may sometimes arise in the small intestine as…

  • Jumpers knee

    Jumper's knee is also known as patellar tendonitis or patellar tendinopathy. It is an overuse injury causing pain at the front of the knee, specifically…

  • Perforated eardrum

    A perforated or burst eardrum is a tear of the eardrum in the inner ear. This is uncomfortable but usually heals on its own within…

Scroll to Top