What is Pes Anserine Bursitis?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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Pes anserine bursitis is a disorder related to a part of the anatomy called the pes anserine bursa. This is a soft, fleshy area on a person's shinbone, and it protects the hamstring by keeping it from directly contacting the rough surface of the bone. When this sack becomes inflamed, the technical term doctors use to describe the condition is pes anserine bursitis, and it causes a pain on the inside part of the knee in an area that's slightly below the kneecap. The pain can sometimes be worse when people try to stand up from a squatting position or climb stairs. This disorder usually happens because of prolonged activity, but it can sometimes happen due to an impact or other sudden stress.

Athletes are especially prone to pes anserine bursitis because they constantly put strain on their knees. It is especially common in sports that focus on running, jumping, and sudden changes in direction. Athletes sometimes try to avoid this problem by doing warm-up exercise before practices or games. In most cases, these athletes will focus on the hamstring during warm-ups, and they may do a lot of stretching.


When someone develops pes anserine bursitis, the main treatment is to rest the knee. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the person has to stay in bed all the time. Some people may simply avoid the activities that are particularly prone to stressing the hamstring. Doctors also recommend that the individual figure out exactly what caused the injury in the first place and avoid that activity while the body is healing. Sometimes people may even need to change the physical mechanics of some activities so that they can avoid constantly reinjuring the pes anserine bursa.

In order to deal with pain while suffering with pes anserine bursitis, people usually rely on ice packs and over-the-counter medicines. The application of ice can sometimes be timed based on daily workouts or other activities that are prone to irritating the knee. This disorder is usually not painful enough to be totally debilitating, so prescription pain solutions aren’t normally required.

There are some cases of pes anserine bursitis that resist home-based treatment, and they sometimes force doctors to take more extreme measures. One of the most common approaches is to inject the area around the pes anserine bursa with a steroid. Sometimes, this can actually cure the problem all by itself, but doctors usually wait until the last minute before trying this approach because steroids have so many potential side effects.


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