Patella-patellar tendon angle decreases in patients with infrapatellar fat pad syndrome and medial patellar plica syndrome.


Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chungnam National University Hospital, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Munhwa-dong, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 301-721, South Korea. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Infrapatellar fat pad (IPFP) syndrome and medial patellar plica (MPP) syndrome are two recognized causes of anterior knee pain. However, diagnosing these syndromes is challenging without arthroscopic examination. The aim of this study was to evaluate sagittal patellar tilt in patients with IPFP syndrome or MPP syndrome by measuring the patella-patellar tendon angle (PPTA) in affected patients.
METHODS : Eighty-three patients with anterior knee pain who underwent diagnostic arthroscopy that confirmed isolated IPFP or MPP syndrome from 2011 to 2016 were included in this retrospective study. Patients were divided into Group A (IPFP syndrome, n = 44) and Group B (MPP syndrome, n = 39). The control group included 78 patients without knee pathology who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the knee during the study period. Radiographic measurements, including PPTA, IPFP area, patellar height, axial patellar alignment, patellar tilt, sulcus angle, and lateral trochlear inclination, were made on MRI images by two experienced sports medicine orthopedists.
RESULTS : The mean PPTA in each knee-pathology group was significantly smaller than that in the control group (Group A: 137.3° ± 4.9°; Group B: 138.1° ± 3.2°; control group, 141.4° ± 2.9°). There was no significant difference between groups for any other radiographic parameter evaluated.
CONCLUSIONS : The PPTA was significantly smaller in patients with IPFP syndrome or MPP syndrome than in healthy controls. Therefore, sagittal patellar tilt should be included in the routine evaluation of patients with anterior knee pain. Evaluation of PPTA may help to diagnose IPFP syndrome or MPP syndrome.


Infrapatellar fat pad syndrome,Magnetic resonance imaging,Medial patellar plica syndrome,Patella–patellar tendon angle,Sagittal patellar tilt,

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