Candidates have an extreme case of bursitis that has failed to respond to nonsurgical treatment. Surgery for bursitis is rarely done, as only a small percentage of bursitis patients benefit from it. If drainage of the swollen bursa fails to facilitate healing, removal of the bursa may become necessary.
The vast majority of patients with knee bursitis will not require a knee bursectomy, as their inflamed bursa will likely be responsive to nonsurgical treatment or surgical drainage.
Like other surgeries, knee bursectomy requires certain general surgery protocol such as preoperative blood testing and the use of prophylactic antibiotic medications. Additionally, patients must stop smoking and using any pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs (blood thinners) one week prior to surgery. You will likely be asked to stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery.
Immediately after the procedure, you will likely be asked to stay off your feet to allow the wound to heal. You will be prescribed pain medication to manage post-surgery pain, and may be given a knee brace to use for up to 2 weeks. Full recovery can take up to 6-8 weeks, and patients whose jobs require light desk work likely can return to work before that time.
As with any surgery, there are risks of complications related to blood clots, infection, injury to nerves or blood vessels, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. Other known complications specific to knee bursectomy include permanent limitation of normal knee mobility, prolonged healing time in the case of premature weight-bearing, flare-ups of bursitis if the bursa is not completely removed, arthritis knee, and increased sensitivity in the pressure bearing areas of the knee.