The San Francisco 49ers have announced that linebacker Patrick Willis has undergone a “successful bursectomy” on his right knee.
The surgery was performed in Redwood City, California.
The term “bursectomy” means the removal of a bursa sac. They typically are removed in the event of chronic inflammation (bursitis) or infection.
In 2008, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had emergency surgery to remove an infected bursa sac.
Removal of the sac reduces the liquid that naturally lubricates the knee. Given the position Willis plays, that could be a problem in the future.
UPDATE: Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that the procedure was performed last week, and that Willis is getting around on crutches.
SECOND UPDATE: The 49ers have informed us that there was no infection involved.