Septic knee bursitis


Knee is one of the most vulnerable places of human body. Joint cavity fluid in knee joint is become inflamed quite often, where abscess formed. This disease is known as septic knee bursitis. The infection gets into the synovial bursa caused by damage or other factors – the internal inflammation sources, which damage the bursa and cause pus producing.

CAUSESBursa inflammation

Causes of septic knee bursitis are different, and may be divided into:

  • knee trauma, which affects synovial bursa in most cases as well. Ignoring the problem may lead to inflammation and pus discharge;
  • other inflamed organs may spread the infection into knee joint and quicken the disease development;
  • heavy physical activity, which includes sports;
  • special job aspects, when person has to stay on knees for a long time;
  • allergic response;
  • past disease weakens immune system.


Septic knee bursitis has clear symptoms, which allow making an exact diagnosis. These symptoms are:

  • big swelling in the upper part of knee;
  • reddening of affected area;
  • temperature increase and tumor;
  • edema;
  • painful knee movement;
  • pus discharging in knee joint area.

Complication symptoms

Complications with additional symptoms are possible when septic knee bursitis is undertreated:

  • pus spreading outside knee area, which causes redness and enlargement (phlegmon);
  • lymphatic skin channel inflammation, which occurs as blood pigments on skin (lymphangitis);
  • lymph nodes inflammation with possible abscess (lymphatic adenitis);
  • pus spreading to unaffected joints, which causes disablement (arthrempyesis);


However, septic knee bursitis may be simply revealed, treatment starts with infectious matter. It requires complex diagnostics and analysis. First of all, urine and blood analysis, that helps to exclude disease with same symptoms. If the type of infection can’t be detected and analysis didn’t give a final result, ultrasound scan or X-ray is used. Mostly, physicians take a specimen of knee joint liquid in order to detect disease form or infectious matter.


Treatment of septic knee bursitis may be liberal and conservative.  Generally, physicians use methods which allow ignoring of surgical procedure. That means the usage of therapies of different kinds (ultrasound, ultra-high frequency), dry heat, tablets and ointments.


First of all, patient is ordered with ointments:

  • Voltaren;
  • Nise gel;
  • Finalgon;
  • Viparin and others

These drugs are very useful for septic knee bursitis, as far as they influence only on the affected area, rather than whole organism. Moreover, that ointment has not only curing effect but pain-relieving as well. Ointment must be used only according to insert, and not less than twice a day.


Except ointments, there are tablets which have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving function:

  • Diclofenac;
  • Ibuprofen;
  • Piroxicamum;
  • Ketoprophenum and others

Medication has strong influence to whole organism: cures the inflammation and prevent a new one. Such medication is used according only to insert, since they have many side effects and contra-indications.

In case of above-mentioned disease antibiotics ordered to avoid the infection spread to other organs.  Usually antibiotics injected in liquid form. Administration course is up to 7 days long, three times a day. Because antibiotics contain not only curing effect, they are also used to prevent dermatophyte and increase gastro-intestinal tract productivity.


In cases when liberal methods didn’t help, conservative methods are used. Conservative treatment of septic knee bursitis means drain of abscess and disinfection.

If septic bursitis developed into chronic form, physician removes calcareous deposits along with abscess. Surgical wound isn’t to be sewed after operation, since it has to skin over itself. To prevent a new infection into knee joint, wound must be covered and occasionally sterilized.


Except medication method of treatment of septic knee bursitis there are folk methods:

  • put fresh cabbage leave on inflamed area and hold. Change it after few hours. This procedure removes swelling and redness.
  • paste of aloe or kalanchoe put on sore place for night. Knee swelling may be removed by this method.
  • take burdock leaves, grind up and infuse with alcohol for a few days in dark and cold place. Rub twice a day and dress. Burdock is a great anti-inflammatory herb and gives heating effect combined with alcohol.
  • chamomile, bidens, conifers bath must be used in turn no longer than 10 minutes. It removes inflammatory effect, external disease expression and tone up whole body.

It is very difficult to prevent septic knee bursitis occurring. It’s needed to watch carefully after each leg trauma. Moreover, it’s better to decrease knee activity, including sports. Call a physician immediately at first symptoms of disease or knee pain.


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