Pes Anserinus Bursitis & Tendinopathy


Article by J. Miller M.Jack

pes anserinus bursitis tendinitis


What is Pes Anserinus Bursitis/Tendinopathy?

Pes Anserinus is the area on the inside of the knee where the tendons for the gracilis, sartorius and semitendinosus muscles attach. Under these tendons is a bursa (fluid-filled sac) which is important in reducing friction between the tendons and the bone. 

Pes anserinus tendinopathy refers to inflammation  or tendon injury of the gracilis, sartorius and semitendinosus tendons. Pes anserinus bursitis is the name given to inflammation of the underlying bursa. Due to their close anatomical relationship, these conditions often occur simultaneously. 

What Causes Pes Anserinus Bursitis/Tendinopathy?

There are a variety of factors which can cause (or place you at a higher risk of developing) pes anserinus bursitis / tendinopathy, including:

  • Activities/sports which involve repetitive use of the sartorius, semitendinosus and gracilis tendons such as: running, dancing and sports which require a lot of direction changes (e.g. soccer, basketball)
  • Abnormal hip, knee or ankle biomechanics
  • Underlying knee pathology (e.g. OA)
  • Inadequate warm-up and stretching prior to and following exercise
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Sudden increase in activity level/sports training

What are the Symptoms of Pes Anserinus Bursitis/Tendinopathy?

You may experience one or more of the following:

  • Pain in the inner knee with knee bending and/or straightening
  • Inner knee pain when going up or down stairs
  • Weakness or feeling of giving way around the knee
  • Swelling over the inside aspect of the knee
  • Decrease in knee range of motion due to pain

How is Pes Anserinus Bursitis/Tendinopathy Diagnosed?

On examination, your physiotherapist or sports doctor will look for signs of pes anserinus bursitis and tendinopathy.

An MRI or diagnostic ultrasound may also be used to confirm the diagnosis.

What is the Treatment for Pes Anserinus Bursitis/Tendinopathy?

Many patients with pes anserinus bursitis and tendinopathystart to feel better within a few weeks of the injury. Your physiotherapy treatment will aim to:

  1. Reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Normalise joint range of motion.
  3. Stretch tight muscles around the knee
  4. Strengthen your knee: especially quadriceps (esp VMO) and hamstrings.
  5. Strengthen your lower limb: calves, hip and pelvis muscles.
  6. Improve patellofemoral (kneecap) alignment
  7. Normalise your muscle lengths
  8. Improve your proprioception, agility and balance
  9. Improve your technique and function eg walking, running, squatting, hopping and landing.
  10. Minimise your chance of re-injury.

However, we strongly suggest that you discuss your knee injury after a thorough examination from a knee injury clinician such as a sports physiotherapist, sports physician or knee surgeon.

The majority of people with pes anserinus bursitis and tendinopathy will make a full recovery with conservative physiotherapy treatment. An injection into the site of inflammation is sometimes also required to decrease pain and inflammation.

How to Prevent Pes Anserinus Bursitis/Tendinopathy?

There are a variety of ways to reduce your risk of developing pes anserinus bursitis/tendinopathy. These include:

  • Correction of exercise technique
  • Adequate warm-up and cool down before and after exercise
  • Correction of muscle imbalances
  • Appropriate footwear during exercise
  • Gradual increase in training intensity/quantity

Return to Sports with Pes Anserinus Bursitis/Tendinopathy?

It is important athletes who have experienced pes anserinus bursitis/tendinopathy complete a full rehabilitation program to prevent recurrence or ongoing issues. This will include a graduated return to your sport program. 

For more information, please ask the advice of your physiotherapist.

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Helpful Pes Anserinus Products

ITB Roller

Excellent for stretching your tight thigh structures: ITB, quadriceps and hamstrings.

foam roller

Knee Pain

Common Causes

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Knee Ligament Injuries

Knee Meniscus

Knee Tendonitis

Muscle Injuries

Children's Knee Conditions

Other Knee-Related Conditions

Knee Surgery

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Pes Anserinus Treatment Options

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Orthotics
  • Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Brace or Support
  • Dry Needling
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Prehabilitation
  • Running Analysis
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • FAQs about Pes Anserinus

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • When Should Diagnostic Tests Be Performed?
  • Massage Styles and their Benefits
  • What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
  • Barefoot Running: Your MUST READ Guide to the Pro's and Con's.
  • Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
  • Heat Packs. Why Does Heat Feel So Good?
  • How Can You Prevent a Future Leg Injury?
  • How Much Treatment Will You Need?
  • Post-Run Soreness: Should You Be Concerned?
  • Runners: How to Reduce Your Knee Stress
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What Can You Do To Help Arthritis?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When Can You Return to Sport?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
  • Helpful Products for Pes Anserinus

    Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

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    Last updated 26-Sep-2019 12:57 PM

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