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What is PES Anserine Bursitis?

What is PES Anserine Bursitis?


PES anserine bursitis is a form of tendonitis that affects the knee. It takes its name from the small, lubricating sack found in the medial portion of the lower knee known as the PES anserine bursa. When someone generally has weak or tight tendons in that area, they can become inflamed at their points of attachment, leading to PES anserine bursitis.


Runner’s Lingo


Eschewing the medical terms, runners often describe this condition in much more basic terms.(2) Since the PES anserine bursae is located at the very bottom of the hamstring muscle, where it connects to the shin bone on the inside of the knew, a hardcore runner might simply say that “a tight hamstring has messed up their lubricating sack.”


Bursae pouches can be found all over the human body, and they are essentially the oil that runs the joint engine. One of the most effective methods of treatment for this condition is, quite simply, stretching. Through physical therapy, a custom-tailored home stretching program, or other method, this can do as much for the hamstring(s) and affected PES areas as anti-inflammatory medications and icing. Only in very severe cases might a cortisone injection be prescribed.


Additional Causes


Besides running, Sports that involve lots of pivot shifts such as soccer, tennis, and football are high on the list of athletic activities that can tweak this part of the lower knee.(3) It is more common among females, and can also afflict patients who suffer from arthritis and even, in some cases, obesity.


PES anserine bursitis is also notable for that fact that it rarely requires fancy tomography, magnetic imaging, or ultrasound to be detected. Usually, the patient’s history and a physical exam are enough to isolate the problem. However, ultrasound is extremely helpful when making cortisone injections into a patient with an extremely irritated knee bursa. Studies have shown that such injections are far more effective than so-called “blind” ones.



(1) UC San Diego – PES Anserine Bursitis, Retrieved August 31, 2011 from


(2) Ultra Running – “PES Anserine Bursitis, AKA Lower Knee Pain”, July 1, 2011, Retrieved August 31, 2011 from


(3) The Pain Source – PES Anserine Bursitis, Retrieved August 31, 2011 from

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