Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Infrapatellar Fat Pad
Connective Tissue

Infrapatellar Fat Pad

Corpus adiposum infrapatellare

Read more


The infrapatellar fat pad of the knee is an intracapsular, extrasynovial adipose tissue that is situated below the patella, behind the patellar tendon. It is highly vascularized and richly innervated (predominantly by the posterior tibial nerve) and, therefore, impingement of the pad is a potential source of nociception (pain) in the anterior knee.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Anatomical Relations

The infrapatellar fat pad is bounded:

—superiorly by the inferior pole of the patella;

—inferiorly by the anterior surface of the tibia and infrapatellar bursae;

—anteriorly by the patellar tendon and the fibrous layer of the joint capsule;

—posteriorly by the femoral condyles, intercondylar notch and the overlying synovial membrane (Mace, Bhatti and Anand, 2016).


The infrapatellar fat pad helps to stabilize the patella and the patellar ligament and prevents pinching of the synovial membrane.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Fat pad syndrome (Hoffa’s syndrome or fat pad impingement)


Mace, J., Bhatti, W. and Anand, S. (2016) 'Infrapatellar fat pad syndrome: a review of anatomy, function, treatment and dynamics', Acta Orthop Belg, 82(1), pp. 94-101.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Infrapatellar Fat Pad

ScienceDirect image

The infrapatellar fat pad (IFP), a white adipose tissue, is uniquely positioned adjacent to the synovium of the knee.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy