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Knee Exam
 
 

Knee Bursae

 
 
 
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Major Bursae of the Knee

Prepatellar bursa - between the patella and the overlying subcutaneous tissue. Bursitis presents as pain and swelling over the patella.
Infrapatellar bursa - superficial or deep; inferior to the patella. Bursitis presents as a palpable swelling inferior to the patella.
Suprapatellar bursa - between quadriceps tendon and femur. Presents as a palpable mass above the knee joint.
Others - anserine bursa, medial collateral ligament bursa, iliotibial bursa, gastrocnemius-semimembranosus bursa.

Baker’s Cyst

  • Look For

  • Swelling and tenderness within the popliteal fossa.
  • Significance

  • May be benign engorgement or may indicate an abnormal communication between the joint and the cyst. Generally involves the gastrocnemius-semimembranosus bursa.
  • Causes of Baker’s Cyst

  • Menisceal tear
  • Anterior collateral ligament insufficiency
  • Degenerative cartilage
  • Septic arthritis

Extra Credit

  • Prepatellar bursa - between the patella and the overlying subcutaneous tissue. Bursitis presents as pain and swelling over the patella.
  • Infrapatellar bursa - superficial or deep; inferior to the patella. Bursitis presents as a palpable swelling inferior to the patella.
  • Suprapatellar bursa - between quadriceps tendon and femur. Presents as a palpable mass above the knee joint.
  • Anserine bursa - in the medial knee, over the distal sartorius, gracilis and semitendinosus tendons, between the tibial collateral ligament and medial tibial condyle.
  • Medial collateral ligament bursa - between the superficial and deep layers of the collateral ligament. Bursitis presents similarly to a medial meniscus tear or medial collateral ligament tear.
  • Iliotibial bursa - between the distal iliotibial band and Gerdy’s tubercle. Presents with lateral knee swelling.
  • Gastrocnemius-semimembranosus bursa - between the medial femoral condyle, semimembranosus tendon and medial head of gastrocnemius. Becomes distended to form a Baker’s cyst.
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