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How Is Knee Bursitis Treated?

Knee bursitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of your bursae, which are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles around your knee. This condition can be a source of considerable discomfort and limitation.

Whether caused by overuse, trauma, or infection, our expert team at Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute, led by Ronak D. Patel, MD, recommends self-care practices, in addition to medical intervention. If your condition persists, we can provide effective treatment to help manage your symptoms of pain and inflammation and prevent long-term complications.

Here are our knee bursitis treatment recommendations:

Rest and activity modification

One of the primary approaches in managing knee bursitis is allowing the affected area to rest. This means you need to avoid activities that exacerbate pain and inflammation, such as kneeling or prolonged standing.

By modifying your daily activity level, you can alleviate pressure on your knee and facilitate healing.

Ice therapy

Applying ice to your affected knee can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Cold therapy can be particularly beneficial during the acute phase of knee bursitis. We typically recommend durations of 15-20 minutes several times a day.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen can help manage pain and reduce inflammation associated with knee bursitis. However, you should only use these medications as directed, and schedule an evaluation with Dr. Patel if prolonged use is necessary.

Compression and elevation

Utilizing compression bandages or wraps around your knee can help reduce swelling and provide support. You should also elevate your affected leg above your heart level when resting to help minimize inflammation and promote fluid drainage from your knee area.

Physical therapy

A tailored physical therapy program can play a pivotal role in the treatment of knee bursitis. Physical therapists can prescribe exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee, improve flexibility, and correct movement patterns to alleviate strain on the affected area.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

PRP therapy involves injecting a concentrated solution derived from your own blood into the affected area. The injections can stimulate your body's natural healing processes, reducing inflammation and promoting tissue repair. 

The growth factors and proteins present in PRP can help accelerate the healing of your inflamed bursa, providing relief from pain and improving your knee joint’s overall function.

Steroid injections

In cases where conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief, we may recommend cortisone injections to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. However, these injections are typically reserved for severe or persistent cases due to potential side effects and risks.


If your knee bursa becomes swollen with excess fluid, we may perform a procedure called aspiration to drain the fluid with a needle. This can provide immediate relief of symptoms and facilitate faster recovery.


In rare cases where other treatment options are ineffective, surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgical procedures for knee bursitis typically involve removing the inflamed bursa or addressing underlying issues contributing to the condition.

If you’re suffering from knee bursitis, reach out to our friendly staff in Plainsboro Township or Manalapan, New Jersey, by calling 609-269-4451 or clicking here to book online today.

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