Superficial infrapatellar bursitis

Case contributed by Dr Dijendra Nath Biswas


Pain and swelling in the right anterior knee

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Male

A well-defined round-shaped compressible swelling has seen the right anterior knee below the patella. The surface of the swelling is smooth, no color changes are seen over the skin surface. Temperature over the swelling is normal.


A well-defined cystic lesion contains echogenic debris and septa without any vascularity is noted superficial to the distal patellar tendon.

Approximate size - 35 x 34 x 8 mm

Quadriceps and patellar tendon - Intact with the normal fibrillar pattern.

Hoffa’s fat pad – Homogeneous echogenicity. No mass lesion

Case Discussion

The features are consistent with superficial infrapatellar bursitis.

The superficial infrapatellar bursa lies between the subcutaneous tissues and the upper part of the patellar ligament.

The superficial infrapatellar bursa is vulnerable to injury from both acute trauma and repeated microtrauma. Acute injuries are caused by direct trauma to the bursa during falls onto the knee or patellar fracture. Overuse injuries are caused by running on soft or uneven surfaces or doing jobs that require crawling or kneeling.

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