Skip to main content

Pes anserine bursitis: incidence in symptomatic knees and clinical presentation



To determine the prevalence and associated clinical symptoms of pes anserine bursitis in symptomatic adult knees.

Materials and methods

A retrospective review was performed of the reports of 509 knee MRI studies obtained from July 1998 to June 2004 on 488 patients presenting to an orthopaedic clinic with knee pain suspected to be due to internal derangement. The MRI studies and case histories of all patients reported to have pes anserine bursitis were reviewed. The management of these patients was also noted.

Results and conclusions

The prevalence of pes anserine bursitis as detected on MRI is 2.5%. The commonest clinical presentation was pain along the medial joint line mimicking a medial meniscal tear. We suggest that an accurate diagnosis of pes anserine bursitis on MRI will help prevent unnecessary arthroscopy and possibly initiate early treatment of the condition. Axial imaging is important in these cases to differentiate the bursa from other medial fluid collections.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1A, B
Fig. 2A,B
Fig. 3A,B


  1. Moschowitz E. Bursitis of the sartorius bursa: an undescribed malady simulating chronic arthritis. JAMA 1937; 109:1362.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Miller RH III. Knee injuries. In: Canale ST, ed. Campbell’s operative orthopaedics. St Louis: Mosby; 1998: 1113–1299.

  3. Larsson LG, Baum J. The syndrome of anserine bursitis: an overlooked diagnosis. Arthritis Rheum 1985; 28:1062–1065.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Stuttle FL. The no-name and no-fame bursa. Clin Orthop 1959; 15:197–199.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Brookler MI, Morgan EF. Anserina bursitis. A treatable cause of knee pain in patients with degenerative arthritis. Calif Med 1973; 119:8–10.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Hall FM, Joffe N. CT imaging of the anserine bursa. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1988; 150:1107–1108.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Zeiss J, Coombs R, Booth R, Saddemi S. Chronic bursitis presenting as a mass in the pes anserine bursa: MR diagnosis. J Comput Assist Tomogr 1993; 17:137–140.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. O’Donoghue DH. Injuries of the knee. In: O’Donoghue DH, ed. Treatment of injuries to athletes, 4th edn. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1987: 470–471.

  9. Forbes JR, Helms CA, Janzen DL. Acute pes anserine bursitis: MR imaging. Radiology 1995; 194:525–527.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Safran MR, Fu FH. Uncommon causes of knee pain in the athlete. Orthop Clin North Am 1995; 26:547–549.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Tschirch FTC, Schmid MR, Pfirrmann CWA, et al. Prevalence and size of meniscal cysts, ganglionic cysts, synovial cysts of the popliteal space, fluid filled bursae, and other fluid filled collections in asymptomatic knees on MR imaging. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2003; 180:1431–1436.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Matsumoto K, Sinusuke H, Ogata M. Juxta-articular bone cysts at the insertion of the pes anserinus. J Bone Joint Surg 1990; 72A:286–290.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hennigan SP, Schenck CD, Mesgarzadeh M et al. The semimembranosus- tibial collateral ligament bursa. Anatomical study and magnetic resonance imaging. J Bone Joint Surg 1994; 76A:1322–1327.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Kerlan RK, Glousman RE. Tibial collateral ligament bursitis. Am J Sports Med 1988; 16:344–346.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Saifuddin.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rennie, W.J., Saifuddin, A. Pes anserine bursitis: incidence in symptomatic knees and clinical presentation. Skeletal Radiol 34, 395–398 (2005).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Knee
  • MRI
  • Pes anserinus bursitis