Goosefoot Bursitis

Goosefoot bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa that lies between the tibia bone and the three tendons of the posterior femoral muscles on the knee. It occurs when the bursa is irritated and produces a greater amount of fluid causing swelling and pressure in the surrounding tissues. Pain and tenderness 2 to 3 cm below the joint are common symptoms of bursitis.

The bursas are small gelatinous sacs found in many parts of the body, the shoulder, the elbow, the hip, the knee, the heel and elsewhere. They contain a small amount of liquid; they are formed among soft tissues and help to reduce friction.

Goosefoot Bursitis


Goosefoot bursitis is the result of excessive use and constant friction and pressure on the bursa. It often occurs in athletes and especially in runners, as well as in people with osteoarthritic symptoms.

Several factors can contribute to the development of goosefoot bursitis, such as:

  • Wrong training techniques without stretching or “warm up” exercises
  • Obesity
  • Knee injury during rotation
  • Rupture of the inner meniscus



Symptoms of goosefoot bursitis include:

  • Progressively worsening pain on the inner side of the tibia, two to three centimeters below the knee.
  • Pain during exercise or climbing stairs



The orthopedist examines the knee after receiving a detailed medical history from the patient. Symptoms of Goosefoot bursitis can mimic those of a fatigue fracture, so radiography usually aids in the final diagnosis.



Athletes with goosefoot bursitis should modify their training program. Specifically:

  • Resting
  • Avoiding knee-straining exercises
  • Ice therapy: Apply ice for 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: (such as ibuprofen) to reduce edema and pain
  • Local anesthesia and corticosteroids (cortisone) provide immediate relief
  • Physiotherapy with stretching exercises and ultrasounds


If the symptoms do not subside, the orthopedist may recommend surgical resection of the bursa. This is a relatively simple procedure for which the patient does not need to be hospitalized. Postoperatively, crutches will be needed for a short period of time, and the patient may return to his or her daily activities three weeks after surgery.