Fat pad syndrome is also known as Hoffa’s fat pad. There are many treatment options suggested by the professionals to treat this disease but when they all fail to treat this pathological condition then the last option is considered to be the surgical procedure. It has been proven that surgical procedure is quite successful among the patient population suffering from this disease. As well as, best-expected patient outcomes from the surgical interventions for Hoffa’s fat pad are observed. Because of this reason in severe and serious cases, many healthcare professionals give priority to surgical interventions over other treatment options.
What is Hoffa’s fat pad?
The human knee is considered among the very rigid and bony body parts but it also comprises a very soft and sensitive part in this region which is called “fat pad”. The fat pad is basically a mass of soft fatty tissues lying under the patella and behind the patellar ligament in the knee. This mass is supported by the shin and thigh bone and considered to be the highly penetrated area with nerves which makes it extremely sensitive. Any harm to this part can lead to the severe pain which is commonly called as “anterior knee pain”. It is also called “fat pad syndrome” or “Hoffa’s fat pad”.
Severe or extensive physical activities such as; Tight quadriceps, an excessive extension of the knee, tipping pelvis, osteoarthritis, hardening of fat pad or any kind of accident leading to the injury of the knee may lead to this disease. For the adequate diagnosis, all the signs and symptoms are considered during the examination, along with the Hoffa’s test and MRI of the affected area.
Hoffa’s fat pad impingement Symptoms
Hoffa’s fat pad syndrome is commonly known as Hoffa’s Fat Pad Impingement which can be diagnosed by the evaluation of certain characteristics or symptoms that may include;
- Severe pain in the frontal part of the knee
- Inflammation under and around the knee area
- Arousal of severe pain followed by the full straightening of the knee
- Pain in the knee caused due to certain physical activities involving; continuous walks, squats or kicking
- Severe pain caused due to wearing high heels
There are some other medical pathologies such as; patellofemoral joint pain syndromeand patellar tendonitis which may pose these symptoms and can mislead the diagnosis. It is recommended that the patient may consult with his/her physiotherapist on experiencing these symptoms so that a proper diagnosis can be made for the adequate management of the condition.
Hoffa’s fat pad impingement Surgery
This treatment option is highly recommended in certain conditions including the cases where a prolonged recovery period is posed with unexpected outcomes or the other treatments are not working well. This is aimed to focus on treating the root cause of this disease and improving the quality of life among patients.
In this technique, certain bony parts of the knee area are cut off to allow the proper space for the fat pad. After this surgical treatment, patients are prescribed with certain medications along with specified physical therapies. The medications majorly aim to manage the pain experienced by the patients after surgery and the physical therapies are recommended for the proper reinstating of knee movements.
This technique may not lead to the restoration of complete knee mobility due to shaving off certain tissues from this region but it is the most highly studied and recommended treatment option due to the highly improved quality of life among patients.
Hoffa’s fat pad impingement Injection
Steroidal injections are recommended in certain cases where the patients experience severe pain. These are used just like other medications prescribed in this situation but the prolonged use of these injections can lead to tissue damage in the surrounding area of the injured portion. This is the reason for the limited prescribing of these injections to treat Hoffa’s fat pad irrespective of their higher success rates to manage the symptoms.
Hoffa’s fat pad Taping
It is a very useful treatment method that has been recommended for the treatment of certain knee injuries involving Hoffa’s fat pad. Different techniques are involved in this method such as; correcting patella tilt, medial sling, and lateral sling. The choice of technique depends upon the condition of the patient and injury.
The use of proper rigid sports tape such as; Elastoplast 38mm, is very important in this method to get the expected treatment outcomes. This method is recommended due to the certain outcome benefits which may involve;
- Minimizing of pain during physical activities
- Prevention of further knee injuries during the physical activities
- Assistance in the healing process
- Keeping patella in a correct alignment
- Reduction in the healing time
- Minimizing the risk of worsening of the situation
Progressive recovery of the VMO muscle