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Knee Bursitis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is Knee Bursitis?

Knee bursitis is a condition caused by the inflammation and irritation of the fluid-filled bursa sacs near the knee joint. If you experience tenderness, swelling, and joint pains near your knees, you may have underlying knee bursitis, also known as a plumber’s knee. To understand knee bursitis and its impact, you must understand the bursitis condition in general.

Bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac located near various joints in your body. It cushions the pressure points between your bones and tendons to reduce the friction caused by movements. While inflammation and irritation can happen on any of the bursa in your knees, the situation is most commonly found near the kneecap or the inside of the knee.

Knee bursitis can also lead to swelling, pain, and limitations in movement. You may experience a sharp pain in your knees when kneeling, hot knees, or the outside of your knees might be swollen. Knee bursitis is an extremely common condition, but most people opt for home remedies instead of consulting the doctor, so the issue can go under diagnosed.

If you notice the signs and symptoms of knee bursitis, we encourage you to consult interventional pain treatment specialists in New York. Our knee pain doctors always diagnose the root cause of your knee pain to curate personalized, minimally invasive treatment plans that ensure optimal and long-lasting results. Please schedule an appointment to explore your knee pain treatment options in New York.

Symptoms of Knee Bursitis:

  • Knee swelling and pain
  • Symptoms increase with movement and pressure
  • Knee tenderness, even without movement
  • Loss of movement and mobility
  • Redness around the knees
  • Hot knees
  • Outside of the knee is swollen
  • Knot on knees
  • Knee pain on the interior side
  • Sharp pain in the knee when kneeling
  • Top inner knee pain
  • Knee hurts and feels warm
  • Inner knee bone pain
  • Inflammation of the bursa

The specific bursting knee symptoms can vary based on which bursa is affected and the root cause of the inflammation of the bursa. However, generally speaking, the affected parts of the inflamed knees will feel warm, swollen, and tender to the touch. You may even feel pressure while resting or moving. The symptoms may appear rapidly because of a sharp blow, or they may appear gradually because of the continued friction and irritation of the bursa of the knees.

Potential Causes of Knee Bursitis:

  • Repeated Use: Frequent, repeated, and sustained acts that place pressure on the knees, such as repeated kneeling on hard surfaces without cushions. That’s why knee bursitis is known as a plumber’s knee — it’s common amongst plumbers who must kneel regularly for a living.
  • Overuse: Overuse or strenuous activities involving the knees, such as kneeling.
  • Injuries: Direct and intense blows to the knees can also lead to the immediate and sudden inflammation of the bursa of the knee.
  • Infections: Bacterial infections of the bursa of the knees can lead to redness, swelling, and warmth.
  • Medical Conditions: Complications related to underlying medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Knee bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa near the knee joint. The bursitis knee symptoms can include swelling and pain, tenderness, and loss of movement. We discuss knee bursitis symptoms in NYC.

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Risk Factors for Knee Bursitis:

  • Age: The risk of knee bursitis increases as you get older because of the wear and tear of the bursa of the knees, which leads to increased friction.
  • Work: You have an increased risk of knee bursitis if your hobby or work involves long periods of repeated, sustained kneeling or pressure on the knees. That’s why knee bursting is most common amongst plumbers (plumber’s knee), gardeners, tile setters, and those playing musical instruments that involve using the knees.
  • Sports: You have an increased risk of knee bursitis if you engage in sports that involve the repeated use of the knees, such as wrestling, football, and volleyball. Furthermore, runners have a high risk of inner knee bone pain and swelling.
  • Obesity/ Osteoarthritis: Individuals who are obese or suffering from osteoarthritis have a higher risk of inflammation of the bursa or inside knee pain.

Tips to Prevent Prepatellar Bursitis:

  • Wear kneepads if your work involves prolonged kneeling
  • If your work involved prolonged kneeling, take regular breaks to stretch your legs
  • Avoid bending your knees repeatedly
  • Maintain a healthy weight to alleviate pressure from knee joints

Diagnosis of Knee Bursitis

The knee pain doctors in New York examine the affected area, discuss your symptoms, review your health history, and diagnose the root cause of knee bursitis. If you have high temperature or hot knees, the doctor may also take a sample of the synovial fluid from your knee to test for bacteria. The diagnosis of knee bursitis usually involves x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and blood tests, following which we curate a personalized treatment plan for knee bursitis.

Minimally Invasive Treatments of Knee Bursitis

Our interventional pain specialists curate personalized treatment plans to address the root cause of knee bursitis. They always start with non-invasive conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, ice packs, elevating, and more, following which they proceed with minimally invasive treatments, such as corticosteroid injections and medications. We avoid opioids and only recommend surgeries if all other treatments fail to yield results.


Find Your Nearest Knee Pain Treatment Center

Our Manhattan NY knee pain clinic is conveniently located on 290 Madison Avenue Suite 203


  • Rest: Rest the affected knee joint to alleviate the symptoms of knee bursitis.
  • Ice: Place ice packs on the affected knees to alleviate pain and swelling.
  • Compression: Wrap the affected knee in compression garments or ACE bandages.
  • Elevation: Elevate the affected knee above your heart’s level to minimize inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Your knee pain doctor may recommend a physical therapist who can guide you through specific movements to restore mobility to your knees and strengthen muscles.


If the results of your synovial fluid test indicate the presence of bacterial infection, the knee pain doctor may recommend antibiotics. You may receive antibiotics orally or intravenously.


Corticosteroid injections block prostaglandin, the chemical responsible for inflammation and swelling. The knee pain doctor will deliver corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation of the bursa of the knees, thus addressing the root cause of knee going pain.


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Meet Our Team of Knee Pain Specialists



Knee Pain Doctor in New York

Dr. Michael Nguyen

Dr. Michael is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.



Knee Pain Doctor in New Jersey

Dr. George Hanna

Dr. Hanna is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.



Knee Pain Doctor in New York

Dr. Shane Volney

Dr. Volney is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.


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