Knee Conditions: What Is Pes Anserine Tendonitis?

anserine knee pain

There are many possible conditions that may be causing the knee pain you feel when you work out, climb stairs, or stretch. One common knee condition you may not know that you have is called Pes Anserine. This is tendonitis of a specific tendon at the inside of your knee that usually causes bursitis as well.

Pes Anserine begins with tendonitis of a tendon that reaches from your hamstring to the inner, lower part of your knee. Repetitive stress on this tendon will cause it to tighten and in turn will irritate the bursa that lies between it and your bone.

Bursae are fluid filled, slippery discs that act as cushions between bones and soft tissue to avoid irritation and damage when moving. There is a bursa located between the shin bone and the three tendons of the hamstring that attach themselves to the bone. When the bursa is damaged, the tendons will rub against the shin bone itself, irritating them when you move your leg. The bursa can swell and put pressure on the tendons and nerves in the area as well, causing considerable pain and swelling.


  • Pain at inner knee or shin bone
  • Pain when stretching hamstring
  • Pain during activity like walking up stairs


  • Incorrect technique during sports or exercise
  • Tight hamstring
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis

Treatment with Physical Therapy

Pes Anserine is usually treated successfully with a strict physical rehabilitation program. Unfortunately, the problem will not fix itself and will only progress as you continue to do activities that irritate the tendon and bursa near you knee. When you visit your physical therapist she will stretch your knee to relax the irritated tendons, decreasing pain. Once your Pes Anserine has improved, your physical therapist will guide you through targeted exercises. Strengthening of the hamstring will prevent it from tightening, which will help in keeping the tendons from rubbing against the shin bone. These focused exercises are important for keeping the injury from recurring and allowing you to get back to your usually activities pain free.

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