Kneecap (Prepatellar) Bursitis

Plumbers, carpet layers, and other people who spend a lot of time on their knees often experience swelling in the front of the knee. The constant friction irritates a small lubricating sac (bursa) located just in front of the kneecap (patella). The bursa enables the kneecap to move smoothly under the skin. If the bursa becomes inflamed, it fills with fluid and causes swelling at the top of the knee. This condition is called kneecap (prepatellar) bursitis.

Who Is at Risk?

People who constantly kneel to work, such as plumbers, roofers, carpet layers, coal miners, or gardeners

Athletes who participate in sports in which direct blows or falls on the knee are common, such as football, wrestling, or basketball

Someone who has been in a motor vehicle collision

People with rheumatoid arthritis or gout

This can occur during surgery as the physician retracts soft tissues as part of the procedure. This can also break intercellular bridges and release substances that promote blood clotting.

Other factors that may contribute to the formation of thrombi in the veins include:

Pain with activity, but not usually at night

Rapid swelling on the front of kneecap

Tender and warm to the touch