Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that encompasses physical fitness as well as both the prevention and treatment of sports and exercise related injuries.  Physicians who specialize in this category of medicine have advanced training in this field applying their knowledge to injuries to get you better, faster.

Many different injuries can occur to the musculoskeletal system, which takes a thorough understanding of the musculoskeletal system in order to treat these conditions. Sports medicine disciplines consist of a variety of sub-specialties, which include: physiatry, orthopedic surgery, chiropractic medicine, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and athletic training. These disciplines work closely together in order to get athletes back on the field.

A common injury seen in the sports medicine population is something known as bursitis, which is most common in the knee joint. The bursa located in our knees are small fluid filled areas that help lubricate and reduce friction in the joint. When these bursa become inflamed, pain and limited mobility occur. Usually minor cases of bursitis will clear up on their own but in moderate to severe cases, medical management is indicated to eliminate pain and inflammation.runner elbow2

Knee bursitis symptomology depends on which bursa in the knee is affected. Generally speaking the affected area of the knee will be warm, with pain and tenderness over the area when pressure is applied. Direct trauma or fall on the knee can lead to bursitis, but in most cases repetitive overuse is the most common cause. Prolonged activities such as kneeling can also lead to bursitis and typically worsen over time. Other risk factors that lead to bursitis include complications from arthritis as well as bacterial infections in the knee. Risk factors include excessive kneeling such as plumbers and carpenters and individuals who play certain contact sports such football, and volleyball.

Diagnosis of knee bursitis is done by physical examination of the knee and different imaging tests to identify the problem in the knee. Because of the similarity of symptoms in most knee injuries proper imaging is needed in order to diagnosis the area of complaint.

Typically, x-rays will be taken to inspect the joint for any arthritic conditions or small fractures.  Following an x-ray you will be evaluated with diagnostic ultrasound to identify both the severity and the location of the bursa.

Most cases of bursitis can be treated conservatively with physical therapy but in severe cases, aspirating or draining the knee joint is done to relieve the inflammation. Corticosteroids are often used for pain management if pain is severe.  Patients at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine will undergo a course of physical therapy in order to strengthen and rehabilitate the knee, which will improve the range of motion of the joint, to avoid future episodes of bursitis.

If you, or someone you know, are suffering from chronic knee pain, or would like more information on non-surgical options available, please feel free to contact one of our patient care coordinators at 908-754-1960 or you may contact us online.  Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine – Getting Patients Better – Faster!

About the Authors:

Joseph Mejia D.O., F.A.A.P.M.& R, is a graduate of University of Michigan and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Dr. Mejia received his Fellowship Training in Interventional Pain Management from University of Medicine and Dentistry. He has advanced training in Regenerative Medicine and is the Medical Director and Partner of Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.

Vincent J. Diana D.C., is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College. He is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician with licenses held in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dr. Diana is a Chiropractic Physician at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.