Aspiration of the Prepatellar Bursa

Overview

This outpatient procedure relieves pain and swelling in the knee caused by bursitis, or inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac between the skin and patella (commonly called the kneecap).

Preparation

In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned so that the knee can be bent comfortably. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the injection site.

Removing Fluid

A needle is inserted and is carefully pushed into the bursa. Excess fluid is drained through the needle to reduce swelling. Corticosteroid medication may also be injected in patients with chronic bursitis.

End of Procedure

When the injection is complete, the needle is slowly withdrawn, and the injection site may be covered with a small bandage. Extended pain relief usually begins within two to three days of the injection.

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