What is it?
Hoffa’s fat pad syndrome can occur when symptoms suggest damage to the meniscus or ligament but investigation shows they are intact. There is pain under the patella and there may be effusion (excessive fluid inside the knee joint). Extending a bent knee with pressure on the patellar tendon will elicits a strong pain and a defensive reaction. With this condition, the fat pad in the anterior portion of the knee becomes inflamed from repeated impingement. Impingement results from excessive pressure on the fat pad. If this occurs in a runner, specialists will usually examine the runners overall biomechanics and running gait to determine why they received this condition in the first place and correct it so that it doe not continue or reoccur; continued symptoms could lead to scarring. A physical exam will reveal tenderness in this fat pad which could be of a varying size.
Hoffa’s Syndrome is typically treated by Cold Compression Therapy and a lidocaine injection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Be sure to rest the area (reduce impact and weight pressures on the knee), regular cold compression treatments, stretching and physiotherapy are all helpful. An Inferno Wrap® will increase blood flow to the area – increasing the healing rate of the tendon.