What are the signs and symptoms of pes anserine bursitis?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: P Mark Glencross, MD, MPH, FACOEM, FAAPMR; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Pes anserine bursitis can result from acute trauma to the medial knee, athletic overuse, or chronic mechanical and degenerative processes. This condition should not be overlooked when the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knee is made, because the 2 are commonly associated. [20] Typical findings in patients with pes anserine bursitis may include the following:

  • Pain and tenderness over the inner knee – This may occur with arising from a seated position, at night, or with ascending (or, possibly, descending) stairs, though not usually with walking on level surfaces; although patients sometimes point to an area directly over the pes anserine bursa, they may often point to a diffuse region over the medial aspect of the knee; many of these patients also have plical irritation or medial joint compartment pathology (eg, medial meniscal tears or medial compartment arthritis)

  • Local swelling

  • Chronic refractory pain in the area during aggravating activities in individuals with arthritis of the knee or in obese females

  • A history of athletic activity - Generally, susceptible persons are those who are involved in any sport that requires side-to-side movement or cutting; the incidence of pes anserine bursitis is higher among runners and in individuals who play basketball, soccer, and racket sports, in part because of the popularity of these activities

Pes anserine bursitis also has been reported in swimmers; accordingly, the condition occasionally is called breaststroker’s knee, although this term usually refers to medial collateral ligament (MCL) strains. Coexisting MCL pathology may be present among athletes or other individuals with pes anserine bursitis.

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