Knee bursitis can be treated at home with rest, ice, compression and elevation, according to Mayo Clinic. If these treatments do not work, however, it is important to see a doctor.
Resting the knee involves refraining from any activity that causes bursitis or activity that worsen pain, claims Mayo Clinic. Icing the knee is also recommended. An ice pack should be placed on the knee several times a day until the pain stops or the knee is no longer warm to the touch. Compression with an elastic bandage may also help in reducing swelling. A person can also reduce swelling by elevating the knee on a pillow.
If these home treatments do not work, a doctor may suggest alternatives such as medications, therapy or invasive procedures, explains Mayo Clinic. For instance, medications such as antibiotics may be used when the bursitis is caused by infection. Physical therapy may also help in some cases, as it can improve flexibility and strength around the knee. This alleviates pain and reduces the risk of bursitis returning. Invasive procedures such as corticosteroid injections, aspiration of the bursa and surgery may also be suggested if other treatments do not work. Surgery is typically performed if the knee bursitis is chronic and does not respond to other types of treatment.