What is included in the workup of prepatellar bursitis (housemaid's knee)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
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Laboratory studies are not usually indicated to diagnose prepatellar bursitis. However, aspiration of prepatellar bursa fluid may be indicated to differentiate NSB from SB. Evaluate the aspirated fluid for white blood cell (WBC) count, protein, lactate, glucose, crystals, and Gram stain results.

Plain radiographs may show soft tissue swelling; however, radiographs are necessary only if other conditions are suggested (eg, fracture and/or dislocation).

Computed tomography (CT) scanning and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are reserved for cases that have been difficult to manage (eg, failure of initial treatment for septic prepatellar bursitis). [7, 8] Ultrasonography may be a useful technique for evaluating synovial fluid in the knee.

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