When a bursa in the knee ruptures due to trauma or overuse, the knee becomes immobile and suffers pain when walking, states the North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute. The frequent application of extra pressure on the knees increases the risk of tearing the bursa covering the kneecap.
A bursa is a tiny sac filled with fluid that protects the bones, tendons and muscles by reducing friction, notes WebMD. An inflamed and irritated bursa is a condition called bursitis, which is caused by regular, minor pressure or a sudden injury. Knees, elbows, shoulders, hips and the Achilles tendon can be affected by bursitis.
Older people, particularly those above 40 years of age, are more vulnerable to bursitis, as their tendons become weaker and unable to endure stress, thus making the tendons easier to tear, explains WebMD. Another typical cause is overuse of the joints due to high-risk activities, such as playing sports, gardening, painting, carpentry and shoveling. Improper posture at home and incorrect stretching before exercise also increase the risk of bursitis.
Bursitis symptoms that occur when the bursa in the knee tears and releases fluid include swelling, pain, limited mobility and redness, states the North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute. Typical treatment involves rest, ice and compresses. Antibiotics and other medicines are sometimes prescribed when the affected area is infected.