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MRI of Fat Pad Impingement Around The Knee

There are three fat pads around the knee that can become impinged and can be symptomatic.

Which Three Fat Pads?: They are the Suprapatellar, the Quadriceps and Hoffa’s fat pads.

What is the MRI Appearance :

Normal fat pads are High Signal on PD and will be dark on PDFS as they will completely fat saturate.

When they are impinged, on MRI we look for high PDFS signal in these regions.

What does normal fat pad look like?

mri knee fat pad normal impingement radiology education asiaImage Above: Location for quadriceps fat pad ( Blue Arrow), Suprapatellar Fat Pad ( Pink arrow) and Hoffa’s Fat Pad ( yellow arrow).  Normally will be dark on T2FS/PDFS as fat will saturate out.

What does impinged fat pad look like?

mri knee fat pad impingement quadriceps impingement radiology education asiaImage Above: Impingement of quadriceps fat pad ( yellow arrow). Due to swelling the posterior margin can become convex ( blue arrow). 

mri knee fat pad impingement suprapatellar impingement radiology education asiaImage Above: Impingement of suprapatellar fat pad ( yellow arrow).  Same appearance as impingement elsewhere.

mri knee fat pad impingement hoffas impingement radiology education asiaImage Above: Impingement of  Hoffa’s fat pad ( yellow arrow). 

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