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Medial plica

illustration of medial and suprapatellar plica

A medial plica is a remnant of an embryonic partition in the knee, and runs along the inner aspect of the kneecap.

It may also be called a 'medial shelf' - more a vertical shelf than a horizontal one, mind - and runs down from above the patella to the fat pad below the patella.

As the knee bends the 'shelf' of tissue may also give a sudden snap over the rounded ends of the femur bone.

 

 

 

image of abnormal medial plica being nipped between femur and patellathickened medial plica photo taken at arthroscopy

 

 

 

 

On the left is a photograph taken during arthroscopy with the scope in the suprapatellar portal, and showing a thickened plica becoming nipped between the patella (above) and the femur (below. You can see this illustrated in the drawing on the right.

When a medial plica becomes abnormally thickened, it can be felt with the finger as a string-like object to the inner aspect of the kneecap.

Updated: 15 Sep, 2013
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