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Endoscopic bursectomy for the treatment of septic pre-patellar bursitis: a case series

  • Orthopaedic Surgery
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Operative treatment for septic pre-patellar bursitis generally involves open debridement in addition to an extended course of intravenous antibiotics. Skin necrosis and wound breakdown are potential complications of this procedure in addition to scar sensitivity and a prolonged recovery.


We report endoscopic bursectomy for the treatment of septic pre-patellar bursitis in eight patients over a 3-year period. All patients had microbiological confirmation of an infective process. The average age was 36 years (23–68 years). The average hospital stay was 6 days (4–9 days).


No patient had a recurrence or complained of tenderness or hypoaesthesia around their wound. No patient experienced wound complications or skin necrosis. The average return to work time was 18 days (7–22 days).


We conclude that endoscopic bursectomy is a safe and effective treatment for septic pre-patellar bursitis with a shortened hospital stay and a quicker return to work than conventional open debridement.

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Correspondence to John P. Dillon.

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Dillon, J.P., Freedman, I., Tan, J.S.M. et al. Endoscopic bursectomy for the treatment of septic pre-patellar bursitis: a case series. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 132, 921–925 (2012).

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