By Dr Tony Setiobudi BMedSci, MBBS, MRCS, MMed (Ortho), FRCS (Ortho)

Physician examines the knee condition
Learn more: What is housemaid’s knee (prepatellar bursitis)?

Housemaid’s knee is also known as prepatellar bursitis, causes swelling and pain at the front of the knee. It is a swelling in the prepatellar bursa. The prepatellar bursa is a small fluid-filled sac which sits under the skin, on the front of the knee above the patella (kneecap) providing cushioning and protection. Occasionally it can become inflamed, a swollen and painful prepatellar bursa is bursitis, and known as Housemaid’s knee.


The most common causes include:


The most common symptoms are:



We will recommend conservative treatment:

If you have already had housemaid’s knee, it is advisable to avoid kneeling on hard surfaces by using gel pads to prevent a recurrence.


Surgical treatment is determined in the treatment plan if the injury is recurring and/or infection is severe.

If you are suffering from housemaid’s knee, you should see a doctor for a correct diagnosis and the right set of treatment options.

Dr Tony Setiobudi is an Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard), Singapore. He treats bone, joint, muscle and ligament problems in adults and children. He has a special interest in nerve compression and spine problems such as back & neck pain, scoliosis, kyphosis, spine tumor & infection, spinal cord injury, osteoporosis fracture, spinal stenosis and slipped disc.