Knee > Treatments
Preparing for Aspiration
If the swelling in the bursa
in front of your kneecap persists despite rest, ice,
and compression, your physician may suggest draining
the fluid in the bursa with a needle. If your physician
suspects you have an infection, he will have the fluid
sent to a laboratory to be analyzed.
If you have been diagnosed with housemaid's
knee and your doctor has suggested aspiration of the
bursa in front of your kneecap, the procedure can be
done at your doctor's office. No special preparations
There is no special setup required
for aspiration of the bursa in front of your kneecap.
The procedure can be done the first time you see your
doctor, and is about as invasive as drawing a blood
sample from your arm. He will clean the area with antiseptic,
and in some cases, may numb it with a topical anesthetic
such as lidocaine. He will then insert a needle into
the bursa, and draw the fluid out. The entire procedure
normally takes about five minutes. A bandage is applied
to the spot of the injection and the patient is allowed
to go home.
Following aspiration of the bursa
to treat housemaid's knee, you usually can remove the
bandage on your knee the day after the knee was drained.
If aspiration of your housemaid's knee revealed an infection
in the bursa, you will be placed on antibiotics for
two weeks or longer. Swelling may reappear after the
aspiration has been done. Consult your physician to
find out if and when you should have your knee reexamined.
Your first follow-up visit usually occurs within a week
or 10 days. You should have little disruption to your
daily activities after aspiration, though you will want
to refrain from kneeling or performing any movements
that require deep knee bending.
One way to minimize discomfort caused
by housemaid's knee is to wear kneepads that will cushion
your kneecap when you are kneeling. These should be
worn on both knees for balance. Any kneepad you use
should be flexible enough to allow you to kneel comfortably,
but should also have enough padding over the kneecap
to allow you to kneel without pain. Comfort and durability
should be your main criteria.
If your work requires you to spend
a lot of time on your knees on hard surfaces, it is
probably wise to consider wearing kneepads before you
start noticing any pain or swelling in your kneecap.
If you have already been diagnosed with housemaid's
knee, it is important to wear kneepads when you are
able to resume any activities that require kneeling.