The fat pad - or Hoffa's fat pad - 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 infrapatellar plica and fat pad being stretched with motion
The three main fat pads in the knee. 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 most important fat pad in the knee is the infrapatellar fat pad, commonly called the Hoffa fat pad which cushions the vulnerable internal structures of the knee. There are two other fat pads that are significant, and 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.

Hoffa's fat pad

The patella - important anatomical relationships

The kneecap or patella is part of a chain of structures that help to straighten the knee.

Fat Pad Library

Library of excerpts from the medical literature about Hoffa's Fat Pad, with links to PubMed

Fat pad syndrome

A syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms that tend to occur in association.



MRI Findings Consistent with Peripatellar Fat Pad Impingement: How Much Related to Patellofemoral Maltracking? Jarraya M, Diaz LE, Roemer FW, Arndt WF, Goud AR and Guermazi A. Magn Reson Med Sci. 2018; 17(3): 195–202.

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