Synovial plicae (knee)

Last revised by Dr Sonam Vadera on 03 Dec 2021

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:

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)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: medial plica with patella cartilage defect
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  • Case 2: medial plica
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  • Case 3: superior patella plica
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  • Case 4: septum completum with hemarthrosis
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  • Case 5: medial plica
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  • Case 6: infrapatellar plica injury
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  • Case 7: suprapatella plica syndrome
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