My pain has a name, Pes Anserinus Bursitis

Byron Kidd
This morning I visited my doctor to have him take a look at my knee. His first words when I walked in were "So Mr Kidd, what have you done to yourself today?". He knows something is up because the only time I visit is when some thing is broken, missing, bent at an odd angle, three times its normal size, bleeding uncontrollably or any combination of the above. He knows I've damaged myself sufficiently that I am unable to put myself back together.

I explained the details surrounding the pain, jogging, increasing the distance and intensity etc. He poked, prodded, and twisted my knee before subjecting me to a couple of x-rays from different angles and declaring I have pes anserinus bursitis, an inflammatory condition of the medial knee caused by overuse or poorly fitted running shoes. One of the many conditions referred to by athletes as "runners knee". The condition commonly known to us non Latin speaking mortals as tendinitis.

The treatment, ice it, rest it and take a handful of prescribed pain relief medicine, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics 3 times a day with meals. Once the pain subsides a little I've been instructed to perform sets of exercises and stretches which will prevent the condition from reoccurring.

The downtime? Limit sporting activities until the pain has subsided. "How long would that be do you suppose?" I asked my doctor. "Maybe 3 weeks, it varies by case", he replied. I took that to mean 3 weeks from the injury which means I'm already a week into rehabilitation. But as I have grown quite fond of the ability to walk over the years and plan to be doing it well into my 80's and beyond, I'll give my knee as long as it needs.

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  1. When searching the internet for information about pes anserinus bursitis I was unable to find an answer to my most burning question. "How long will this take to heal?" Obviously every person and every injury is different, but despite this you find yourself searching for an answer.

    It has been almost 2 and a half weeks since the original injury and I rode for the first time today.

    For the first week I was unable to ride due to the discomfort and the second week spanned my summer vacation over which I hadn't planned any cycling, so staying off the bike was not that unbearable.

    I discovered that along with frequent icing of the area and ipobrufen, that regular stretching helped reduce the discomfort particularly first thing in the morning and after long periods of inactivity at work.

    On occasion I wore an elastic knee sleeve, but never could decide if it was helping provide support, or aiding in fluid build up and swelling, so gave up on that quite early.

    This morning I rode without any pain, but did experience discomfort when standing up and cranking down on the pedal with my left leg. After arriving at work there was a dull ache below my knee, but nothing like the sharp pain that had been there before. Within an hour the ache had subsided.

    Therefore I've decided to continue riding from today, taking it easy so as to not re-injure myself, and think I'll give running a rest for another week.

  2. Three weeks after the original injury and I have started running again, recovery runs of shorter distances at lower speeds.

    While running I feel no discomfort although in the hours after running there is a feeling below the knee indicating that it is yet to heal 100%. The day following a recovery run (I run in the evenings) that the discomfort is most noticeable.

    I'm using the word discomfort rather than pain as its no longer sore, just not completely healed.

    After a good run on Monday evening I was ready to sign up for the Toda Half Marathon in Saitama mid November, but found it fully booked for my age group, so entered the 10K instead.

  3. I have been fighting the same thing I think since April. Im on my 3rd Doctor as the first 2 wanted to say I had a torn meniscus and wanted to do an MRI. Not believing it was a meniscus myself, and not wanting to pay $1500 to verify, I found a PT who is a cyclist. He prodded around and made me come off the table when he touched the tendon. I cant decide if I got it from running or biking as I am a Triathlete. I really ramped up my training on both this winter and spring and ended up with this. I have run a grand total of 18 miles since MAY!!!!!!! Running seems to not be so bad, but the next day it is a knife in that tendon. Biking doesnt hurt too much unless I try and stand, at that point I feel it in both knees. The new Doc is going to try the Steroid pads on the spot and I will keep icing and stretching. My biggest problem is I keep training (biking) for 2 more Olympic distance events this season. Once I am done with those I will rest completely (except swimming) until it is gone.
    Good luck to you!

  4. Well, I am not a athelet, so I started of with a platella tendonitis, which seems to have transformed into "pes anserinous bursitis". Or I have both, not sure which as I only got an X-ray which didnt show much. have been going for physical therapy since July this year..still not back to running, biking or even elleptical.When I ask how logn it takes to be "normal" answer is "it should have been better by now"
    onlt thing that helps is streching hamstrings, calves and quads...and then my therapist does some trigger point massage during sessions..
    Question is, when will I heal????

  5. I have inside knee pain left leg. Bothers me most at night if I lay on my left side. Tender to touch but not extreme. No Known injury. Bike 20 miles a day at modest 10 mph. Does not seem to be as acute symptomwise as the above comments. 76 years old. How the feeling that all the Rx mentioned are for more vigorous athleyes anxious to get back to competitiveness. Question? Since it does not increase the pain (so far) to cycle, will it heal while I continue my modest 20 miles a day?

  6. Hi Byron,

    I came across your blog while searching for English-speaking knee doctors in Tokyo and was wondering if you could post info on which doctor you go to.


  7. does anyone have a snapping sensation on the tendon??? Doctor said have my semitendonisus irritated and that's causing to snap all over the muscle has anyone experienced these???

  8. This is the first time that I have heard of such a condition named Pes Anserinus Bursitis. You will overcome this one.

  9. It is important that you strengthen the medial tendon, which is one of the tendons that connects to the pes anserinus. Performing basketball squeeze exercise is one way to strengthen it.

  10. I've been playing basketball ever since I was a kid. A friend of mine who is a chiropractor told me that, I should wrap a bag of ice around my knees after every game to help that body part to recover faster from too much stress of playing.

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