Prepatellar bursitis is an inflammation of the prepatellar bursa at the front of the knee. It is marked by swelling at the knee, which can be tender to the touch and which generally does not restrict the knee's range of motion. It can be extremely painful and disabling as long as the underlying condition persists.
Prepatellar bursitis is most commonly caused by trauma to the knee, either by a single acute instance or by chronic trauma over time. As such, the condition commonly occurs among individuals whose professions require frequent kneeling.
A definitive diagnosis can usually be made once a clinical history and physical examination have been obtained, though determining whether or not the inflammation is septic is not as straightforward. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms, with mild cases possibly only requiring rest and localized icing. Options for presentations with severe sepsis include intravenous antibiotics, surgical irrigation of the bursa, and bursectomy.