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Lahey Health is now part of Beth Israel Lahey Health

by EBSCO Medical Review Board
(Goosefoot Bursitis; Pes Anserine Bursitis; Anserine Tendonitis)

Definition

Pes anserine tendinobursitis syndrome is pain on the inside of the knee just below the joint. It happens when three tendons at the inside of the knee become inflamed. This is called tendonitis. The thin sac (bursa) between the shinbone and the three tendons also becomes inflamed. This is called bursitis.

Tendons Meet and Connect to Bone
medial knee muscle insertion
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

The reason why this problem develops is not clear. Some causes are:

  • Overuse
  • Trauma

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in women. It is also more common in people who are 50 to 80 years of age.

Other things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

  • Certain physical activities, such as long-distance running, racquet sports, or basketball
  • Tight hamstrings

Symptoms

The main symptoms are pain and swelling on the inside of the knee just below the joint. The pain may be worse with activity, such as going up or down stairs. It may also be worse at night or first thing in the morning.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked about the activities that you do. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the knee. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to ease pain and swelling. Choices are:

  • Supportive care, such as cold compresses and avoiding activities that cause pain
  • Physical therapy to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Medicines to ease pain and swelling, such as:
    • Over the counter or prescription pain relievers
    • A steroid injection

Prevention

The risk of this health problem may be lowered by slowly increasing the intensity and duration of activities.

RESOURCES

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians  http://www.familydoctor.org 

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons  http://www.orthoinfo.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Orthopaedic Association  http://www.coa-aco.org 

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation  http://www.canorth.org 

References

Helfenstein M Jr, Kuromoto J. Anserine syndrome. Rev Bras Reumatol. 2010 Jun;50(3):313-327.

Pes anserine bursitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/pes-anserine-bursitis. Accessed February 1, 2021.

Pes anserine (knee tendon) bursitis. OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00335. Updated March 2014. Accessed November 10, 2017.

Revision Information