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

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
  • Print

Septic bursitis (SB) results from infection of the bursal sac, which is frequently caused by skin lesions but can also arise from secondary spread of infection from initial cellulitis into a pretraumatized superficial bursa or, in rare cases, from hematogenous seeding. Infection is commonly caused by bacteria (most often Staphylococcus aureus) but can in rare cases result from fungi. [16]  The prepatellar bursa is the bursa most commonly involved in Brucella infection. [17, 18, 19]  In addition, tuberculosis of the patella may present as prepatellar bursitis. [20]

Up to 50% of all SB cases occur in immunocompromised patients. Other risk factors include chronic rheumatic inflammatory diseases.  

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!