Suprapatellar bursitis is a painful condition wherein the knee gets inflamed with fluid. It is imperative that athletes and sport enthusiasts be aware of this condition and take preventive as well as remedial measures accordingly.
Bursae are sacs that are strategically located at all the joints existing in the human body. These sacs contain a fluid that helps absorb friction and injury to the underlying tissues, nerves, and bones. The suprapatellar bursa happens to be located on the upper kneecap. The inflammation of any of the brusae is called bursitis. When the knee sac is injured or infected, it causes a painful condition known as suprapatellar bursitis wherein the sac fills up with excess fluid and swells up.
This inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of the knee and make it very difficult for people to perform daily body movements. The symptoms of this condition include excessive inflammation as well as fluid formation on and around the knees, the skin becomes sensitive to the touch and there is severe pain. There are also chances that infection may set in. This usually occurs when the swelling is as a result of trauma or a blow to the knee.
Suprapatellar Bursitis Treatment
Once the swelling begins to appear, depending on the intensity of the inflammation, patients have two options. Either they can opt for self-care at home, and wait for the swelling to subside and heal on its own or immediately get the affected area medically checked. Here are some of the medical procedures that may be involved in order to treat the swelling:
- If the condition is not reducing or showing any signs of improvement, the likelihood of severe inflammation as well as infection may exist. This condition can be diagnosed visually, through an ultra sound of the affected knee, which helps assess the condition of the knee-joint as well as the other parts.
- Apart from the visual symptoms, a diagnostic test known as Aspiration may be required if there are signs of septic bursitis or infection. The procedure requires that the physician extract some of the bursa fluid through an injection, this sample is then analyzed and checked for possible bacterial pathogens. If the case is not severe, the swelling usually subsides, with the help of antibiotic anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications.
- One of the alternative ways of treating this condition is to inject corticosteroid drug into the affected area, as this helps alleviate the pain as well as the swelling to a large extent.
Some Home Remedies
- In order to help alleviate the swelling, the cardinal rule to be followed is to keep your affected knee on an elevated position. You can do so by placing some cushions directly under your knee. Do not place the cushions under your ankles as that would increase the pressure on the knee-joint.
- The best way to reduce the swelling is to use cold therapy, using an ice pack. Place the ice pack directly on the affected area so that the excess heat can be absorbed. This will also help reduce the pain by numbing the area.
- Once the area is a little desensitized, try to slowly bend your knee. Do this a few time, but remember to be extremely gentle and steady while doing this leg movement. The reason for this bursitis exercise is to prevent the knee from getting frigid, as well as to ensure that the blood circulation throughout the leg and lower hip remains normal.
- You may also have anti-inflammatory medications as long as they are medically prescribed. Try having a medicine that you have tried before for pain and swelling, so that you can be assured that the medications shall be effective on your system.
- Apply the ice pack 4-5 times a day as and when you feel that the pain is becoming unbearable. Try and not exceed the cold therapy for more than 30 minutes.
- The benefits of exercising your knee-joint while being under bed rest increases the possibility of avoiding physical therapy at a later stage when the swelling has healed.
- You will also need to bandage the knee after the ice pack therapy. Remember to tie the bandage anti-clock wise, as this helps work against the swelling. Tie the bandage in a way that it allows the circulation to be maintained and at the same time it manages to apply adequate pressure on the swelled area.
The most common cause of suprapatellar bursitisdue is, overexertion of the knees which cause stress to the tendons, tissues, and underlying sacs. It is fairly common among athletes and dancers. The best way to avoid this painful condition is to warm up properly, before trying out any form of exercise or physically grueling body movements.
People who have suffered from this condition in the past are more prone to its recurrence as the swelling makes the area, comparatively weaker than before. Therefore they should be more cautious than usual.