Running Injuries: The Infrapatellar Fat Pad and Plica Injuries

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2016 Feb;27(1):79-89. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2015.08.009.


When considering knee pain in runners, clinicians differentiate sources of symptoms and determine their cause. Knee problems arise when a runner increases the amount/frequency of the loading through the lower limb. The way the loading is distributed through the knee determines which tissues are abnormally loaded. Knee problems cannot be considered in isolation, requiring a thorough investigation of static and dynamic lower limb mechanics, and footwear and surfaces. This article examines potential sources of knee pain and explores the role of the infrapatellar fat pad and synovial plica in the mechanics of the knee and its involvement in knee symptoms.

Keywords: Hoffa pad; Knee biomechanics; Nociceptive; OA pain; Quadriceps inhibition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / injuries*
  • Adipose Tissue / innervation
  • Arthroscopy
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Knee Injuries / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Muscular Atrophy / prevention & control
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patella
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Running / injuries*
  • Synovial Membrane / injuries*
  • Weight-Bearing