Definition

Anserine tendinobursitis syndrome is a pain to the inner part of the leg, just below the knee joint. It is at a location where three tendons meet and connect to bone. The muscles include the sartorius, gracilis, and semitendinosus. There are also one or more bursae at this location. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that decreases friction between bones and muscles.

When bursae become inflamed it is called bursitis. When tendons become inflamed it is called tendonitis. For this pain syndrome, the exact cause is unknown, but it may involve injury or inflammation to the tendons or bursae.

Tendons Meet and Connect to Bone

medial knee muscle insertion
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This may be a treatable condition. Contact your doctor if you think you may have this syndrome.

Causes

This condition is most commonly caused by repeated stress to the knee. A direct injury to the knee can also cause this condition

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of anserine tendinobursitis syndrome include:

  • You are a runner
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tear to meniscus
  • Obesity
  • Change in running routine
    • More miles
    • Sudden increase in workout
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Flat feet
  • Genu valgum—knees touching
  • Feet that roll inwards (overpronation)
  • Diabetes

Symptoms

Anserine tendinobursitis syndrome may cause:

  • Pain to inside part of knee
  • Knee tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Pain worsens with bending and straightening of knee
  • Pain worsens with exercise

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You will be asked to show exactly where you feel the pain. Often diagnosis is made by physical exam alone. Sometimes an x-ray is performed to rule out other injuries.

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

Rest

You will be instructed to rest the affected knee until the pain goes away. You may also be advised to ice your knee 3-4 times a day to decrease the inflammation.

You may be referred to physical therapy.

Medications

Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help with pain and inflammation. Your doctor will advise you which NSAID to take and how often.

You may also receive a steroid injection directly into your knee to relieve pain and inflammation.

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of anserine tendinobursitis:

  • When increasing your workout or run, do so gradually
  • Stretch before and after your workout
  • Wear appropriate shoes for the specific activity and your feet
  • Follow your doctors directions to manage any underlying conditions