fat pad syndrome

Last reviewed 01/2018

Also known as Hoffa’s disease, the condition is an impingement and inflammation of the infrapatellar fat pad causing pain on knee extension (1)

It is thought to occur due to catching of the fat pad in the patella and the femoral condyle

  • it is seen more frequently in young women in whom the fat pad swells in association with premenstrual fluid retention
  • may also be caused secondary to direct trauma or acute hyperextension injury (2)

Patient usually has anterior knee pain which is worsened by knee extension or prolonged standing and kneeling (2). Localised tenderness and swelling over the anterior knee may be present (1).

Pain may resolve with rest but may sometimes require fat pad excision.