Suprapatellar fat pad impingement

Case contributed by Dr Franco A. Scola


Anterior knee pain.

Patient Data

Age: 20 years
Gender: Female

Increased signal intensity of the suprapatellar fat pad, with a convex posterior border and mass effect over the suprapatellar joint recess.

There is no significant joint effusion.

Annotated image

Left: prepatellar fat pad oedema

Right: normal prepatellar fat pad

Case Discussion

The suprapatellar fat pad is an intracapsular, but extrasynovial structure, located just posterior to the quadriceps tendon, anterior to the prepatellar joint recess, and superior to the patellar base and retropatellar cartilage, usually triangular in shape. 

The suprapatellar fat pad signal abnormalities and mass effect (indicating oedema), with no other significant findings, and the clinical presentation in this case, are compatible with suprapatellar fat pad impingement syndrome.


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Case information

rID: 53598
Published: 28th May 2017
Last edited: 14th May 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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