• Young athletes
• Runners
• Cyclists
• Soccer/ Footy players


Fat pad impingment syndrome is a common condition affecting the knee joint and may also be referred to as Hoffa’s Syndrome. The fat pad is a small, sensitive area of soft tissue, composed mailny of adipose tissue (hence the name), that is found just underneath the bottom half of your kneecap and patellar tendon. This fat pad helps to lubricate the knee joint, whilst also acting as a bit of a shock absorber.


Fat pad impingement can occur at any age but most often occurs in active teenagers and adults between the ages of 20-50. It usually occurs over time and is regularly seen in persons performing running activities or sports that require lots of kicking. It is also a condition seen in the elderly either as a result of trauma to the knee or gradual wear and tear from age and/or conditions such as OA.


Irritation to the fat pad is usually as a result of activities that require repetitive extension (straightening) of the knee. Over-extension of the knee can also be caused by a traumatic injury or a fall onto the knee. When the knee is overly straightened this fat pad can get pinched between the knee cap and the bones of the knee joint (femur and tibia) resulting in impingement. Repeated pinching and impinging of the fat pad results in inflammation which causes pain and swelling to occur around the knee cap.


Treatment and management for fat pad impingement is often quite straightforward, with a focus on managing painful symptoms in the initial weeks before moving onto to an exercise modification and rehabilitation program to target long term relief. Your local move forward physiotherapist will assess your knee as well as your hips, low back and ankle to determine the underlying cause of your injury. Once assessed you will then be given an individualised treatment plan to manage your painful symptoms and prevent any further damage. A number of techniques may be used to do this including;
• Dry needling/ acupuncture
• Knee mobilisations
• Deep tissue massage
• Heat/ Ice therapy
• Hydrotherapy
• Pilates
• Stretching and strengthening exercises
• Activity/ exercise modifications at either our Pilates studies at Quinns Physiotherapy , or within Healthy life gym located by hillarys Physiotherapy