Bursitis of the knee can occur when the bursa fills with blood from injury and overuse, such as from athletic competition. Bursitis can also occur from rheumatoid arthritis and from deposits of crystals, as seen in patients with gouty arthritis and pseudo gout. The Suprapatellar bursitis can also become infected with bacteria (septic bursitis). 

However, When this happens, fever may be present. This type of infection usually occurs from breaks in the overlying skin or puncture wounds. The bacterium involved in septic bursitis of the knee is usually Staphylococcus, which is normally present on the skin. Rarely, a chronically inflamed bursa can become infected by bacteria spreading through the blood

What are symptoms and signs?

It can lead to varying degrees of swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness in the overlying area of the knee. As compared with knee joint inflammation (arthritis), it is usually only mildly painful. It is frequently associated with increased pain when kneeling and can cause stiffness and pain with walking. Also, in contrast to problems within the knee joint, the range of motion of the knee is frequently preserved and the swelling is outside of the joint.

How do healthcare professionals diagnose knee bursitis?

Suprapatellar bursitis of the knee is diagnosed based upon the typical location of a bursa displaying signs of inflammation including knee pain, tenderness, stiffness, and sometimes redness and warmth. Typically, there is point tenderness at the site of the inflamed bursa.

What causes this condition?

Firstly, you should know that the symptoms of suprapatellar bursitis depend on the type of bursitis. For example, how severe is bursitis? There are three most common signs, but you don’t have to have all three signs to have prepatellar bursitis. The three signs include:

  1. Swelling at the front of your knee: Nearly all cases of prepatellar bursitis involve swelling at the front of your knee. Also, You’ll be able to “see” and feel your swollen bursa sac through your skin. It usually feels “squishy” when you press on it.
  2. Range of motion limits in your knee: Mild and moderate cases of prepatellar bursitis usually don’t limit your ability to bend and stretch your knee. If you have a severe case of prepatellar bursitis, you may not be able to move your knee like you usually do.
  3. Pain: Some people don’t experience pain with prepatellar bursitis. Others may feel achiness or tenderness in their affected knee even while resting. Sometimes, people with prepatellar bursitis experience no pain while resting but feel pain or tenderness in their affected knee when they kneel or bend it.

Other Common causes include:

Tumors or cysts:

Tumors or cysts put pressure on the spinal cord or any part of the legs and feet. This pressure can restrict blood flow to the legs and feet, causing numbness. Which as a result causes Dead leg syndrome.


Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting condition that causes body pain. However, People with fibromyalgia also experience numbness and tingling in the legs or feet.

Almost everyone with fibromyalgia has symptoms in more than one part of their body for at least 3 months at a time. However, If numbness in the legs and feet is not accompanied by any other symptoms or is not long-term, it is unlikely to be caused by fibromyalgia.

Multiple sclerosis:

People with multiple sclerosis have sensory nerve damage that can cause numbness in the legs or in whole limbs. Although numbness associated with MS often only lasts for a short period, it can last long enough to become disabling.

Stokes and mini-strokes:

Strokes or mini-strokes can cause brain damage that may affect how the mind interprets and processes nerve signals. However, a stroke or mini-stroke can sometimes cause temporary or long-term dead legs (numbness in the legs).

3 ways to diagnose suprapatellar bursitis:

If you are facing any symptoms of bursitis as we have mentioned above, we highly recommend you to visit a doctor which is near you. Therefore, your doctor may review your medical history and examine your knee as follows:

  • He will firstly examine or compare the positions of both your knees.
  • Then he will check the range of motion of the affected knee.
  • The doctor will feel the region around your affected knee to check for swelling, sensitivity, or warmth.

How can you prevent it?

You can help prevent bursitis by following these simple tips:

  • Wear kneepads when working on your knees or participating in contact sports such as soccer, basketball, or wrestling.
  • Rest your knees regularly by standing to stretch your legs. You may also want to consider changing activities regularly to avoid prolonged stress on your knees.

However, Snow and lift your knees after exercise may also help prevent suprapatellar bursitis.