Pes anserine bursitis is a seldom thought of, but surpringly common cause of knee pain.
The pes anserinus (latin for goose's foot) is an area just below the inner side of the knee. Here three different thigh muscles from three different muscle groups attach. The sartorius (an anterior thigh muscle), the gracilis (an adductor) and the semitendinosis (a hamstring muscle).
Between the attachment points of these muscles and the tibia (shin bone) there is a bursa (a pocket of fluid). This bursa can become inflamed and irritated, either by excessive load going through these tendons, or by sudden trauma, such as a direct blow.
Pes anserine bursitis tends to cause pain on the inside of the knee, particularly with activities such as running and going up/down stairs. This presentation is similar to PFJ syndrome, patellar tendinopathy and other common overuse injuries around the knee. However, pes anserine bursitis should cause an area on the inner side of the upper anterior tibia to be tender to touch. Pain is also likely to worsen at night and to be aggravated by lying on your side, both of which can cause problems with sleeping.
Treatment of pes anserine bursitis involves treating the inflammation. This can include resting from aggravating activities, applying ice, ultrasound and anti-inflammatory medications. treatment also needs to address the causes of the inflammation, which commonly includes techniques to reduce the tone in the adductors and hamstrings (eg massage, stretching, kinesiology taping, dry needling), and an exercise program to address biomechanical issues contributing to increasing the load in these muscles.
A thorough assessment from a physiotherapist should be able to differentiate between pes anserine bursitis and other potential causes of your knee pain, and help to plan out a personally tailored treatment and rehab plan.
If you need help recovering from knee pain see our physiotherapist in Aubin Grove today!