The main fat pad - or Hoffa's fat pad - in the knee is an area of cushioning fatty tissue behind the patellar tendon - but there are also other fat pads in the knee above the patellar area.

fat pads of the knee

The three main fat pads in the knee.

infrapatellar plica and fat pad being stretched with motion


The Hoffa fat pad may be structurally connected to the infrapatellar plica and be stretched with movement.


Suprapatellar, prefemoral and infrapatellar (Hoffa) fat pads

The Hoffa's fat pad is also known as the infrapatellar fat pad because of its situation below the patella. The other two notable fat pads are found above the patella, where they cushion the area behind the quads tendon in front of the femur. Because the fat pads are flexible, they change shape as the knee bends and straightens.

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Hoffa's fat pad
infrapatellar fat pad

Dr Sheila StroverĀ (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...