Plica surgery in the knee is performed to remove a plical fold of joint lining that is being troublesome, perhaps because it is catching in the joint. The procedure is usually arthroscopic (keyhole).

plicae of the knee medial plica nipped in the knee joint
The various plicae of the knee. The medial plica can become nipped between femur and patella, with resultant pain.

Surgery for plica syndrome

Surgery may be indicated when the patient repetitively experiences symptoms, which may include:

  • inflammation of a plica, due to an impact injury
  • nipping of a mediopatellar plica between femur and patella
  • nipping of a suprapatellar plica between femur and the quads tendon
  • inflammation of the Hoffa fat pad, when a tethered infrapatellar plica is subjected to increased stresses, such as with an adolescent growth spurt
An article about plica surgery in the knee based upon a forum discussion.


Synovial Plica Syndrome of the Knee: A Commonly Overlooked Cause of Anterior Knee Pain. Lee PYF, Nixion A, Chandratreya A and Murray JM. Surg J (N Y). 2017 Jan; 3(1): e9–e16.

See also -

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Webinar - An overview of plica problems in the knee.