© 2018 OA Knee Pain. All Rights Reserved.

Infrapatellar fat pad impingement, also referred to as Hoffa’s Syndrome, is a common knee injury that causes anterior knee pain. Trauma or gradual wear and tear can cause the fat pad to become damaged causing discomfort. This can restrict the range of movement of the knee joint and cause pain to be intensified during or after any activity.

Anyone can be affected by infrapatellar impingement, but those who take part in sport or vigorous activities are more likely to suffer damage to the knee.

Symptoms of Infrapatellar Fat Pad Impingement

The condition is often misdiagnosed as patella tendonitis and patella femoral pain syndrome due to its position in the knee; however, there are a number of symptoms unique to the injury, which can help provide an accurate diagnosis. These include:

  • Swelling of the infrapatellar
  • Tender to the touch
  • Pain relief when the patella inferior pole is lifted off the fat pad

Your GP will carry out a test to diagnose infrapatellar fat pad impingement that involves examining the infrapatellar while contracting the quadricep muscle. If this causes you pain, the other conditions can be ruled out. To confirm a diagnosis, you will likely be sent for an X-ray, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or a tissue biopsy.

Treatment

Once a full diagnosis has been made, the condition is quite straightforward to treat. Firstly, the swelling and inflammation must be dealt with by resting and applying an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel on the affected knee for 15 to 20 minutes three to four times a day. Anti-inflammatory medication or a steroid injection may also be used, depending on your individual circumstances.

As the swelling goes down treatment becomes more about managing the joint by combining treatments such as strengthening exercises, flexibility training, cryotherapy and taping.

If non-invasive treatments don’t help recovery, surgery may be your only option. This will involve full or partial removal of the fat pad through arthroscopy. Most patients recover within six weeks of surgery.

Preventing further injury

There are a number of methods that can be used to prevent infrapatellar fat pad knee impingement from occurring again, including:

  • Stretching properly before and after exercising
  • Practising exercises to strengthen the muscles
  • Using knee padding and other protective gear
  • Taking a break from activities
  • Returning to activity gradually
  • Avoiding high heels

If symptoms persist, you should make an appointment with your GP.

How would you rate the information on this page? (Your feedback is greatly appreciated)

Sign up to the OA Knee Pain newsletter

OA Knee Pain Social Board

Bringing you the latest news, research and treatment breakthroughs from the world of osteoarthritis

Visit our blog

Filter
  • twitter
  • blog
#

Can bracing be used instead of surgery following an ACL injury?


For anyone interested in the sports or activities which help us to keep fit and healthy the potential for injury is always present. Injuries will very often involve the knee joint. This is because the knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in our body.

#

The top 10 foods experts say can help manage osteoarthritis


New foods are also appearing all the time, and not all of these have been thoroughly tested for beneficial properties, so it is also quite possible to find a food that may help you personally. Whether you do or do not believe that specific foodstuffs can alleviate osteoarthritis, it certainly appears that a healthy balanced diet and the maintenance of a reasonable body weight can help those with arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, so it makes sense to focus on those foods that can fight inflammation.

#

What are the health benefits of spices?


There are many foods that can benefit your health, but we don’t often think of the herb and spice cupboard as holding anything particularly special. It turns out, however, that there are many excellent ingredients in spices that can not only benefit our health but also improve ailments and reduce symptoms of other health problems. Read on to discover more about the health benefits of spices. There are many spices that we can use in cooking and they all have their own special properties. From ginger to turmeric and paprika to cinnamon, every spice has its own distinct aroma, taste and health-giving properties.

#

What are the top low impact sports for people with bad joints?


Bad joints can get in the way of achieving a good exercise routine, due to the pain and discomfort of weight bearing exercise. When we exercise by playing sports or running, there is a large amount of stress placed on the joints, especially the knees. This leads to pain and can actually cause long-term damage to the joints. However, there are a few excellent low impact sports which are ideal for people with bad joints. Read on to discover which exercises can provide a great workout for people experiencing problems with their joints.

#

​5 most important questions to ask your doctor about OA


We all experience aches and pains from time to time. Normally this isn’t a problem. However, when pains become regular they become a cause of concern. Recurring pain or discomfort in the joints may be indications of the onset of osteoarthritis – a condition which, as we age, gradually damages the surfaces of the joints so the joint doesn’t move as smoothly.

#

​What to expect following knee replacement surgery


There are broadly two different types of knee replacement surgery. These are known as partial (sometimes called unilateral) knee replacement, and total or full knee replacement. You may also hear knee replacement being referred to as arthroplasty. Your surgeon will decide which option is best for you depending upon the state of your knee. Partial knee replacement is less invasive and involves less downtime, so if this is a possibility for you, your surgeon will always prefer to choose this option. However, partial knee replacements run a greater risk of the need for revision surgery, so your surgeon will carefully weigh this risk against the short-term benefits.

#

Treatments for Osteoarthtitis


It has been estimated that the number of people in the UK with osteoarthritis is around 8.75 million with almost half that figure suffering from knee OA. This means that a third of the population aged 45 and older have sought treatment for their condition.

#

What are the long term effects of pharmaceuticals in managing osteoarthritis?


​Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints. It is caused by everyday wear and tear rather than any specific immune condition, but it is still painful and can be debilitating. It is caused when the cartilage that covers and protects the ends of your bones, where they join, becomes roughened and thickened. The bone underneath the cartilage also thickens, as do the ligaments, the synovium (the inner layer of the joint capsule) and the capsule itself. Sometimes extra synovial fluid is produced, which causes the joint to swell.