Synovial plicae (knee)
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Synovial plicae are folds of synovium, thought to represent embryologic remnants. They are common, present in ~90% of arthroscopies 3.
They have been implicated in anterior knee pain and possibly in chondromalacia patellae although their role remains controversial 1,3.
Some plicae have been described with multiple names in the literature representing the same structure 1,2:
- medial patellar plica: most common symptomatic plica
- suprapatellar plica / superior patellar plica
- infrapatellar plica / ligamentum mucosum: most common knee plica
- lateral patellar plica: rare (<1%)
They range in shape from a ridge or shelf to more discrete cord-like structure 3.
May be seen as a shelf like band.
- PD/T2: typically seen as a band-like low signal structure traversing through the joint space (arthrography study or when joint effusion is present)
- 1. Hodge JC, Ghelman B, O'Brien SJ et-al. Synovial plicae and chondromalacia patellae: correlation of results of CT arthrography with results of arthroscopy. Radiology. 1993;186 (3): 827-31. Radiology (abstract) [pubmed citation]
- 2. García-valtuille R, Abascal F, Cerezal L et-al. Anatomy and MR imaging appearances of synovial plicae of the knee. Radiographics. 22 (4): 775-84. Radiographics (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Boles CA, Martin DF. Synovial plicae in the knee. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2001;177 (1): 221-7. doi:10.2214/ajr.177.1.1770221 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Dupont JY. Synovial plicae of the knee. Controversies and review. Clin Sports Med. 1997;16 (1): 87-122. Pubmed citation