The infrapatellar fat pad: anatomy and clinical correlations

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2005 May;13(4):268-72. doi: 10.1007/s00167-004-0592-7. Epub 2005 Jan 28.


This study examined the anatomy of the infrapatellar fat pad (IFP) in relation to knee pathology and surgical approaches. Eight embalmed knees were dissected via semicircular parapatellar incisions and each IFP was examined. Their volume, shape and constituent features were recorded. They were found in all knees and were constant in shape, consisting of a central body with medial and lateral extensions. The ligamentum mucosum was found inferior to the central body in all eight knees, while a fat tag was located superior to the central body in seven cases. Two clefts were consistently found on the posterior aspect of the IFP, a horizontal cleft below the ligamentum mucosum in six knees and a vertical cleft above, in seven cases. Our study found that the IFP is a constant structure in the knee joint, which may play a number of roles in knee joint function and pathology. Its significance in knee surgery is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Patella