What is the pathophysiology of nonseptic prepatellar bursitis (housemaid's knee)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
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Nonseptic bursitis (NSB) is a sterile inflammation that develops secondary to occupational or athletic trauma, crystal deposition (gout, pseudogout), or systemic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, [13] or uremia. Most cases of NSB result from chronic microtrauma caused by repetitive friction. Particularly vulnerable are individuals continually exposed to compressive and sheer forces between the skin and the patella bone, including members of occupational groups whose job requires frequent kneeling or crawling (eg, carpenters, gardeners, roofers) and athletes participating in sports such as ice hockey, volleyball, and wrestling. The inflammatory response causes an overproduction of bursal fluid and subsequent bursal swelling, resulting in NSB. [14, 15]

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