Infrapatellar fat pad

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Infrapatellar fat pad
Latin corpus adiposum infrapatellare
TA A03.6.08.018
FMA 58772
Anatomical terminology

The infrapatellar fat pad, also known as [Hoffa's fat pad], is a cylindrical piece of fat that is situated under and behind the patella bone within the knee.

Clinical significance[edit]

The fat pad is a normal structure but it can sometimes become a problem:

  • It can become damaged and painful
  • It can be deliberately removed at arthroscopic surgery to make it easier for the surgeon to see what they are doing - but this can also lead to scarring and pain.
  • It can get very big (hypertrophy) and may become nipped (’impingement’) between the patella and the femoral condyle, causing sharp pain when the leg is extended.
  • It can become involved in the process of arthrofibrosis and become scarred (fibrotic) and contracted, pulling the patella down into an abnormally low position.