Pes Anserine Bursitis
By Greg Heeter ATC
What is Pes Anserine Bursitis?
The quick answer, bursitis is a common inflammation of a bursa sac. Bursae are small fluid sacs located between soft tissue or tendons and bone. The sac’s main purpose is to provide cushioning for tendon attachment sites or boney prominences. One of the most common places for irritation (or Bursitis) is at the Pes Anserine.
The Pes Anserine is aptly named due to the structure’s specific alignment and attachment site. This term is referred to as Goose Foot because of their presentation. Three tendons join at the anteromedial (front and inside) portion of the tibia or just below and inside the knee. Those three tendons are the Sartorious, Gracilis, and Semitendinosis (part of the hamstrings).
What Causes Pes Anserine?
As we age, the ability for our tendons to take on shear and stress decreases. This may irritate the bursa sac or Bursitis. Another cause of Bursitis would be a direct blow or impact. Pes Anserine is more related to the indirect stress of either or all of the tendons located at the site. This could be from excessive use of the hamstrings, sartorious, or gracilis.
There could even be an increase in stiffness of the muscles or a lack of soft-tissue mobility. This is primarily an overuse injury for athletes, which presents with pain, tenderness, and may even feel/observe mild-moderate swelling specifically located over the Pes Anserine.
We typically treat Pes Anserine Bursitis with NSAIDs, ice, stretching, and laser therapy or ultrasound modalities. Anything to avoid increased stress to the involved tendons would help alleviate pain as well. NSAIDs decrease inflammation as well are modalities and ice. Stretching or elongating the stiff soft tissue will decrease the amount of irritation over the bursa sac itself.
A trained Physical Therapist or Certified Athletic Trainer May even look for any alignment or muscular imbalances that may cause more stress to this portion of the knee and address those issues. Some of these may include running analysis and hip, knee, foot/ankle mobility.
Please call JOI-2000 to schedule an appointment with an Orthopaedic Knee Specialist.