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Pre patella bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid filled sac that sits behind the patella or kneecap. A bursa acts as a cushion between bones, tendons and ligaments. When a bursa becomes inflamed bursitis results. In the knee joint there are a number of bursa. One that is commonly injured is the pre-patella (kneecap) bursa. This bursa is situated in front of the patella near the patella tendon.

Bursitis can result from:

•    overuse
•    a direct blow to the area
•    chronic friction, such as from frequent kneeling

Pre-patella bursitis often occurs in wrestlers and volley ball players due to the impact on the front of their knees.

Symptoms of Pre patella bursitis

Pre-patella bursitis presents with pain and swelling in the front of the knee. There is often an increase in pain with bending and straightening of the knee. There will also be tenderness over the site of the bursa.

Diagnosis and treatment

Your physiotherapist will be able to diagnose and treat this condition. The initial physiotherapy would involve reducing pain and swelling. This may involve the use of electrotherapeutic modalities, ice, rest, and gentle massage. Following this treatment would move onto rehabilitation and return to sport.

This may involve strengthening of knee stability muscles, stretching and decreasing activity of tight/overactive muscles, proprioceptive (balance) exercises and correction of any abnormal lower limb biomechanics. Your physiotherapist would also guide you in a gradual progression to sport and advise you on preventative measures such as wearing knee guards for sport.