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Deep Infrapatellar Bursa
Connective Tissue

Deep Infrapatellar Bursa

Bursa infrapatellaris profunda

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Bursae are sac-like structures, with an inner synovial membrane, that produces a thin film of synovial fluid. They aid in reducing friction between moving tissues of the body, such as between tendon and bone, ligament and bone, tendons and ligaments, and between muscles.

Inflammation of the bursa is known as bursitis. If the inflammation is due to injury or strain, it is known as aseptic bursitis. However, if the inflammation is caused by infection, it is known as septic bursitis.

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Anatomical Relations

The deep infrapatellar bursa is a synovial fluid-filled sac located directly posterior to the distal part of the patellar ligament, just proximal to its insertion on the tibial tuberosity. It usually does not communicate with the knee joint. The average width of the bursa at the most proximal margin of the tibial tubercle is slightly wider than the average distal width of the patellar tendon.

The deep infrapatellar fat pad can be partially compartmentalized, with a fat pad apron extending down from the infrapatellar fat pad to partially divide the bursa into anterior and posterior compartments (LaPrade, 1998; Viegas et al., 2007).


The deep infrapatellar bursa reduces the friction of the patellar ligament moving over the tibia.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Deep infrapatellar bursitis


LaPrade, R. F. (1998) 'The anatomy of the deep infrapatellar bursa of the knee', Am J Sports Med, 26(1), pp. 129-32.

Viegas, F. C., Aguiar, R. O., Gasparetto, E., Marchiori, E., Trudell, D. J., Haghighi, P. and Resnick, D. (2007) 'Deep and superficial infrapatellar bursae: cadaveric investigation of regional anatomy using magnetic resonance after ultrasound-guided bursography', Skeletal Radiol, 36(1), pp. 41-6.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Synovial Bursa

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Synovial bursae provide a gliding surface and a cushion for soft tissues as they pass over skeletal prominences and are found over bone and under muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia, or skin.

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