Infrapatellar fat pad syndrome is characterized by injury or repetitive trauma to the adipose (fat) cushioning tissue deep to the patellar tendon and below the patella (kneecap) which results in impingement, entrapment or catching of the injured fat pad tissue between patella (kneecap) and the femur (thigh bone) or between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (leg bone). The fat pad usually serves to protect the deep joint surfaces during kneeling and other direct pressure.
Infrapatellar fat pad syndrome is caused by direct injury to the knee or repeated injury to the fat pad during activities that require maximal bending or straightening of the knee. The traumatized fat pad becomes caught and pinched between the end of the femur and the upper part of the tibia or in the patellofemoral aspect of the joint.
Initial treatment consists of medications and ice to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, stretching and strengthening exercises, and modification of the activity that produces the symptoms. Referral to a physical therapist or athletic trainer may be indicated. Occasionally,
Dr. Chudik may recommend an injection of cortisone to address the inflamed tissue that is repeatedly getting caught. Generally, surgery is reserved for cases in which symptoms persist despite conservative treatment. Surgery usually is performed arthroscopically to remove the inflamed or chronically scarred adipose (fat) tissue.
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Dr. Steven Chudik is offering virtual doctor visits from the safety of your own home during COVID-19. Dr. Chudik is an Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine Injuries.