Definition

What is pes anserine bursitis?

There is a pocket-like structure in the inside, or medial, aspect of the lower knee that can get inflamed. It is called the pes anserine bursa. This is where three different tendons of the thigh attach below the knee. This pocket can get inflamed in a condition known as pes anserine bursitis or tendonitis. Pes anserine bursitis often results from weak or tight tendons, leading to inflammation at their attachment.

How common is pes anserine bursitis?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of pes anserine bursitis?

The common symptoms of pes anserine bursitis are:

Pain slowly developing on the inside of your knee and/or in the center of the shinbone, approximately 5 to 7.6cm below the knee joint.

Pain increasing with exercise or climbing stairs

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes pes anserine bursitis?

Overuse of the hamstrings, especially in athletes with tight hamstrings is a common cause of pes anserine bursitis. Runners are affected most often. Improper training, sudden increases in distance run, and running up hills can contribute to this condition. It can also be caused by trauma such as a direct blow to this part of the knee. A contusion to this area results in an increased release of synovial fluid in the lining of the bursa. The bursa then becomes inflamed and tender or painful.

Anyone with osteoarthritis of the knee is also at increased risk for this condition. And alignment of the lower extremity can be a risk factor for some individuals. A turned out position of the knee or tibia, genu valgum (knock knees), or a flatfoot position can lead to pes anserine bursitis.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for pes anserine bursitis?

There are many risk factors for pes anserine bursitis, such as:

  • Incorrect training techniques, such as neglecting to stretch, doing excessive hill running, and sudden increases in mileage
  • Tight hamstring muscles
  • Obesity
  • An out-turning of the knee or lower leg
  • Osteoarthritis in the knee
  • Medial meniscus tear

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is pes anserine bursitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis is generally made through a discussion with your doctor and thorough examination. X-rays are often used to rule out other conditions.

How is pes anserine bursitis treated?

Athletes with pes anserine bursitis should take steps to modify their workout program so that the inflammation does not recur. Other treatments include:

  • Discontinue the activity or substitute a different activity until the bursitis clears up.
  • Apply ice at regular intervals three or four times a day for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) may ease the pain and reduce the inflammation.
  • Your doctor may inject a solution of anesthetic and steroid into the bursa, which often provides prompt relief.
  • Physical therapy. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy for specific stretching exercises, and ice and ultrasound treatments.
  • If your symptoms continue, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend surgical removal of the bursa. This is typically performed as an outpatient (same-day) procedure. If putting weight on your leg causes discomfort after the procedure, your doctor will recommend using crutches for a short time. Normal activities can typically be resumed within 3 weeks of the procedure.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage pes anserine bursitis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you reduce your risk of pes anserine bursitis:

  • Correction of exercise technique
  • Adequate warm-up and cool down before and after exercise
  • Correction of muscle imbalances
  • Appropriate footwear during exercise
  • Gradual increase in training intensity/quantity

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: October 30, 2017 | Last Modified: October 30, 2017

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