September 24, 2018

Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Possible post traumatic prepatellar bursitis

Possible post traumatic prepatellar bursitis

Patient: I tripped over when I was playing soccer but there was no grass on the ground so the effect was pretty tough and I slipped ever after being on the ground. That happened in Wednesday and I still can’t walk and it’s Monday. At times I can feel something in my knee making a sound like the heart beat. I can make my leg straight while sitting but not when I’m standing up and also there’s a big bump on the place of injury from Wednesday. Could my knee be fractured?



Doctor: The only way to determine if your knee is fractured is with imagine studies (e.g:X-rays). Most likely you have a liquid id collection in your prepatellar bursa produced by the previous traumatism. The prepatellar bursa is a superficial bursa with a thin synovial lining located between the skin and the patella. Normally, it does not communicate with the joint space and contains a minimal amount of fluid; however, inflammation of the prepatellar bursa results in marked increase of fluid within its space, like a “golf ball”. Apparently you had an uncomplicated knee injury that with conservative treatment has a great chance to improve, anyways if you notice one or more of the following symptoms: more inflammation, remarkable limitation on flexion-extension movements, locking of the knee, or instability, the next step would be an evaluation by an Orthopedic Surgeon. But if this is not the case, the suggested strategy would be: protection (avoid activities or movements that may produce pain, especially kneeling), local ice packs for periods no more than 15 minutes each time, and after, local hot compresses, you could use anti-inflammatory medication (i.e.: “Aleve”, “Advil”). The healing time is different for each patient but generally there is a progressive improvement during the next 4-6 weeks after the injury.




Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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