Treatment for Knee Bursitis & Tendonitis in Lafayette, LA
Knee pain can develop for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common are bursitis and tendonitis. Both conditions are similar in that they are caused by soft tissue inflammation, which can result from repetitive use or direct trauma. But, there are some key differences between the two that must be taken into account in order to ensure effective treatment.
Within the knee joint, many bones, muscles, and tendons come into contact with each other. In those areas, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) help to reduce friction and cushion pressure points, allowing the knee structures to glide smoothly together during movement. Bursitis is an inflammation of a bursa, which usually results from overuse.
Any of the bursae around the knee can become inflamed. However, knee bursitis most often develops over the kneecap or on the inner side of the knee.
Tendons are cord-like structures that connect muscles to bones and facilitate motion. Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon, which typically results from the repetitive use of an associated muscle. Ongoing stress can create tiny tears in a tendon, causing it to become weakened and inflamed over time.
One common example of knee tendonitis is jumper’s knee, which affects the tendon that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). Also known as patellar tendonitis, this type of injury frequently affects athletes who perform repetitive jumping maneuvers, such as basketball and volleyball players.
Treatment for Knee Bursitis & Tendonitis
After evaluating the precise nature and location of a knee injury, a physician may diagnose bursitis or tendonitis. Excessive fluid in a bursa may suggest bursitis, while tenderness in a tendon usually indicates tendonitis.
For both bursitis and tendonitis, the goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation. In many cases, this can be accomplished with PRICE therapy, which involves protection, rest, ice applications, compression, and elevation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be used if needed.
Additionally, because tendonitis often results from repetitive use, a key component of treatment is identifying and modifying the contributing activities. In a case of bursitis, aspiration (removal of the fluid) and/or injection of an anti-inflammatory steroid may be needed. If the symptoms continue and aspiration is not appropriate, surgery may be suggested to drain fluid from – or remove – an affected bursa..
To reduce the risk of knee injuries like bursitis and tendonitis, it is important to stretch and warm up properly before exercising and also to wear protective knee padding as appropriate.
If you have pain or swelling in your knee, we encourage you to request an appointment with Peter D. Vizzi, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who practices in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr. Vizzi can provide an accurate diagnosis and explain your treatment options for bursitis or tendonitis. Contact us today. Dr. Vizzi’s advanced education and ongoing training in sports medicine and athletic injuries allows for focused and cost-effective treatment.