What is Beat Knee?
Beat Knee is a type of repetitive strain injury (RSI). Once more familiarly known
as 'Housemaid's Knee', Beat Knee is caused by continuous, repetitive strain on the
knee, often sustained over many years.
Doctors refer to Beat Knee as prepatellar bursitis, where the bursae – small,
soft sacs of fluid around the knee joint which reduce friction and allow easy movement
– become inflamed.
As the bursae are strained through injury or wear and tear, they fill with synovial
fluid to cushion the tendons from further damage. As a result, the swollen bursae
hinder the movements of the tendons and nearby soft tissue.
What is RSI?
A repetitive strain injury is normally caused by repeated muscular movements without
enough rest between each movement. Over time, muscles, tendons, nerves, and cartilage
are affected by the prolonged pressure, and it becomes painful to move.
To make sure you don't do any long-term damage, any RSI needs a period for recovery.
It's exactly the same with Beat Knee; in fact, there are many cases where Beat Knee
has been ignored, leaving sufferers in great pain for the rest of their lives.
What are the symptoms?
- Severe pain or discomfort, in the form of a sharp ache or burning sensation, that
becomes more intense the more you use your knees in the same way
- Tenderness of joints to touch or minor movements
- Reduced mobility and 'locked knees'
- Swelling and/or soreness around the joint or tendons
Beat Knee symptoms are typified by immediate pain that can arise very suddenly.
If you notice such pain, it's likely to subside after a period of rest. However,
recurring inflammation in the same area, as with most forms of RSI, could be more
What causes Beat Knee?
Beat knee is common in the mining industry, where miners are frequently forced into
awkward crouching and kneeling postures for long periods as they work.
Trades, professions and common tasks which could cause Beat Knee include:
- Mining and other labour-intensive industries, particularly if you're kneeling in
cramped conditions over long periods
- Laying floors, tiles and carpets
- Dealing with under-floor plumbing and electrical installations
- General cleaning and housework
Can I claim compensation if I suffer from Beat Knee?
If you have contracted Beat Knee or any other RSI condition in the course of your
job and it wasn't your fault, you might be able to make a claim.
Simpson Millar LLP has a friendly Industrial Injury Claims Team who'll be able to help
you. For more details and advice, and to see if you have a case, please get in touch
without obligation via our online form or by calling 0808