Fat Pad Irritation / Impingement
The fat pad (or infrapatellar fat pad) is a soft tissue structure that lies just below and underneath the patella (knee cap).
- Use of anti-inflammatories (consult GP prior) may contribute to pain reduction
- Ice for inflammatory reduction
Professional Medical Treatments
- Dry needling of the fat pad can be an adjunct to treatment
- Myofascial release to normalise patella tracking
- Patella taping to offload the fat pad
- Prescription of exercise program
- Surgery should be avoided if possible. Surgery is extremely rare in cases of fat pad irritation.
Physical Therapy Exercises
- Strengthening: Patients often have weakness of the quadriceps muscles in the front of the knee in particular. Treatments should be focussed on improving control, strength and endurance of muscles above and below the knee
- Retraining of muscle control around the quads to control hyperextension of the knee
- Avoid repetitive hyperextension of the knee
- Avoid repetitive kneeling
- For females, minimise walking in high heels if you have previously battled fat pad impingement