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Pes Anserine Bursitis

Written by: Dr. Frederick Buechel, Jr.

What Is Pes Anserine Bursitis?

The Sartorius, Gracilis, and Semitendinosus are three muscles act to bend the knee, bring the knees together, and cross the knees.  The Tendons of these three muscles (pes anserine) attach to the shin bone (tibia) over a bursa at the inside of the knee.

A bursa is a fluid filled sac that acts as a cushion between tendons, bones, and skin.  Pes anserine bursitis is an irritation or inflammation of this bursa located on the inner side of the knee just below the knee joint.

What Are The Causes Of Pes Anserine Bursitis?

Bursitis, an inflammation of a bursa, usually develops as the result of overuse or chronic irritation.  Pes anserine bursitis is common in swimmers who do the breaststroke and is sometimes called breaststroker’s knee. Pes anserine bursitis is common in athletes, particularly runners and with sudden distance changes.  Kicking a ball repeatedly will also cause bursitis.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bursitis?

  • Pain and tenderness on the inside of your knee, approximately 2 to 3 inches below the joint, are symptoms of pes anserine bursitis of the knee.
  • Pain increasing with exercise or climbing stairs
  • Symptoms of pes anserine bursitis may mimic those of a stress fracture

What Are The Risk Factors Of Pes Anserine Bursitis?

As bursitis is commonly caused through over exerstion there are a few factors that lead to that including the lack of stretching before activities.  There is also an increase of bursitis seen with patient who have osteoarthritis, obesity, and tight hamstrings.

How Is Bursitis Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of pes anserine bursitis begins with a history and physical examination. The exam will test the tenderness over the pes bursa X-rays will most likely be ordered to make sure that there are no other abnormalities in the knee. MRI can show inflammation of the bursa and other causes of knee pain

What Are The Possible Treatments For Bursitis?

Treatment begins non-surgically and may include the following:

  • Rest
  • Ice (Cold Therapy) on your inner knee 3-4 times every day for 20 minutes
  • Anti-inflammatory Treatments
  • Physical Therapy for stretching & strengthening of the hamstrings, adductors, quadriceps
  • Corticosteroid injection into the bursa to reduce the pain and swelling
Frederick F. Buechel, Jr. MD

Meet Frederick F. Buechel, Jr. MD

Frederick Buechel, Jr., MD is an internationally renowned orthopedic knee surgeon, an international instructor, and an expert in the field of Robotic Partial Knee Replacement and Robotic Total Knee Replacement.

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Meet Frederick F. Buechel Jr. MD

Frederick F. Buechel Jr. MD is an internationally renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon who is Fellowship Trained in Knee and Hip Joint Replacement and specializes in robotic partial knee replacement, robotic total knee replacement, and knee meniscus surgery. Learn More »

Select Relevant Publications

Buechel F., Buechel F., Conditt M. (2016) Robotic-Arm Assisted Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty (MAKO). In: Scuderi G., Tria A. (eds) Minimally Invasive Surgery in Orthopedics. Springer, Cham. Link to Article

Buechel FF Sr, Buechel FF Jr, Pappas MJ, Dalessio J. Twenty-year evaluation of the New Jersey LCS Rotating Platform Knee Replacement. The journal of knee surgery. 2002 Spring;15(2):84-9. Link to Article

Buechel, Frederick F. Sr. MD; Buechel, Frederick F. Jr. MD; Pappas, Michael J. PhD; D'Alessio, Jerry MS. Twenty-Year Evaluation of Meniscal Bearing and Rotating Platform Knee Replacements. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. July 2001 - Volume 388 - Issue - pp 41-50. Link to Article

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