Suprapatellar bursitis is a condition characterized by an inflammation of the suprapatellar bursa in the knee. Often referred to as simply knee bursitis, this inflammation is frequently caused by either overuse or stress to the knee, but you may also develop this painful condition from a bacterial infection, trauma or even a degenerative disease, such as osteoarthritis. If you develop suprapatellar bursitis, most treatments involve some level of both professional and self-care to bring about relief.
Most case of suprapatellar bursitis responds well to self-care measures, so start off by resting and elevating your knee to reduce both inflammation and pain.
While the leg is elevated, periodically ice your knee to further reduce inflammation. Icing, also known as cold therapy, should be done for no longer than 20 minutes at a time four to five times throughout the day. A plastic bag filled with ice works well in this situation, but makes sure to wrap the bag with a towel to prevent injury to your skin.
Follow up by wrapping the knee with an elastic bandage. This not only helps to reduce inflammation, but can also reduce irritation to the affected bursa.
If the pain and swelling associated with suprapatellar bursitis hasn't dissipated after a few days, talk to a medical professional. The cause of the bursitis often dictates the course of care. With overuse, repetitive stress or even trauma, a corticosteroid drug is regularly injected directly into the affected joint, lessening inflammation and reducing pain. With a bacterial infection, a course of antibiotics are used to eliminate the infection before corticosteroids are ever employed.
After inflammation and pain have lessened, your doctor may recommend you speak to a physical therapist to better treat your condition. A physical therapist can establish modifications to activities that may be placing unneeded stress on the knee joint. You'll then take part in a series of exercise to not only strengthen the muscles of the leg to properly support your knee, but also improve your overall flexibility to lessen the chances of recurrence.
Regardless of the cause of the bursitis, there is also the potential that you may need to have the inflammation in your knee manually reduced through aspiration, especially when a great deal of fluid has collected within the bursa. In this procedure, a needle is inserted directly into the bursa to extract the fluid. This reduces inflammation and its associated pain.
If all other treatments fail to produce results, a surgical procedure is used to actually remove the affect bursa.