Clergyman’s Knee


Clergyman’s knee, medically known as prepatellar bursitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the bursa located just in front of the kneecap (patella). This inflammation typically arises from repetitive kneeling or pressure on the kneecap, leading to irritation and swelling of the prepatellar bursa. Commonly seen in individuals whose occupations or activities involve frequent kneeling, such as clergy members, gardeners, or carpet layers, clergyman’s knee manifests symptoms of swelling, tenderness, and pain in the front of the knee, particularly exacerbated by kneeling or direct pressure on the kneecap. Sometimes, the skin over the affected area may appear red or warm to the touch.

Diagnosis of clergyman’s knee usually involves a thorough evaluation of symptoms and a physical examination. Additional imaging studies, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may be conducted to rule out other potential causes of knee pain and swelling.

Treatment options for clergyman’s knee focus on reducing inflammation, alleviating pain, and promoting healing. Rest and activity modification are often recommended, involving avoidance of activities that exacerbate symptoms, such as kneeling or prolonged periods of pressure on the knees. Ice therapy can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling when applied several times a day. Anti-inflammatory medications, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. Compression bandages and elevation of the leg can help reduce swelling and promote drainage of excess fluid from the bursa. In some cases, fluid may be drained from the swollen bursa using a needle and syringe in a procedure called aspiration. Physical therapy may also be prescribed, including specific exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve flexibility and range of motion.

At Dr. Isaac Bone & Joint Speciality Hospital, our experienced orthopedic specialists are dedicated to providing personalized care to patients with clergyman’s knee. We work closely with each patient to develop a treatment plan tailored to their individual needs and goals, with the aim of reducing symptoms and improving function. If you are experiencing symptoms of clergyman’s knee, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. We are committed to helping you find relief from your symptoms and regain comfort and mobility in your knee.