Hoffa's Syndrome (Fat Pad Impingement)
Your Hoffa's pad (infrapatellar fat pad) is a fatty pad that sits below your patella (knee cap) directly behind your patellar tendon. It cushions the patella, preventing it from hitting against the condyle of your femur (or end of the thigh bone) in the case of a direct blow to the front of the knee. The fat pad in the knee has a lot of nerve cells, so any injury to it is extremely painful.
Hoffa's Syndrome is a condition in which the infrapatellar fat pad either suffers a contusion or an injury, resulting in damage and swelling. This can lead to the Hoffa's pad becoming trapped between the femur and the patella every time the leg is extended.
Fat pad impingement can also occur if the fat pad is pinched when the leg turns inward abnormally while running. The risk of this happening increases if you have instability in your knees or hips which can be a result of other conditions such as Achilles injuries. When favouring a sore Achilles tendon in one foot, you begin to use improper mechanics to walk or run and this can lead to unbalanced loads and over straining one of your knees and/or hips.
Because straightening the leg will cause the fat pad to become trapped, it is being re-injured constantly and can lead to a lengthy recovery time if not treated quickly and correctly.
Hoffa's Syndrome Causes
- People participating in activities or sports where a blow to the knee is possible such as football, rugby, soccer, and hockey.
- If you have suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury the stability of your knee decreases leaving the infrapatellar fat pad more prone to being pinched.
- Runners with excessive pronation (also known as flat feet) or weak hips may experience quick leg turns inward while the knee cap (patella) remains behind, causing the fat pad to be pinched.
- People who have Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome.
- Anyone who has a history of hyperextension in the knee
Fat Pad Impingement Symptoms
- Pain, inflammation, and swelling at the front of the knee cap and along the sides of the patellar tendon.
- Increased pain when the knee is extended.
- Standing for long periods on hyperextended knees will increase the pain.
- Squatting or using stairs will often make the pain worse.
Hoffa's Syndrome Test
Your doctor or health care professional will examine your knee to determine if you have Hoffa's Syndrome (fat pad impingement). He/she will ask you to lie down with a bent knee. You then slowly straighten your leg while the doctor presses his or her fingers below the knee cap (patella), on either side of the patellar tendon. Any pain or hesitation when straightening the leg is considered a positive test for Hoffa's Syndrome.
Treating Hoffa's Syndrome - What You Can Do!
Allowing your knee to rest is always recommended when you are suffering from fat pad impingement. Avoid activities that may have caused the injury or irritation and begin using a Cold Compress or Ice Pack as soon as possible if there is swelling or inflammation.
Fortunately, there are tools that can help treat your pinched fat pad and speed up the healing process so you can get back to a life without pain and risk of further injury. Soft Tissue Repair Therapy (STR Therapy) is intended to promote blood flow and flexibility to soft tissue in the knee. This in turn, boosts your bodys natural healing mechanism, allowing your body to heal your knee faster and more completely. STR Therapy is best achieved through use of the T•Shellz Wrap®.
Using a Cold Compress or Ice Pack immediately following an injury reduces pain, swelling, and tissue damage that occurs when you have Hoffa's Syndrome (fat pad impingement). Cold Therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in damaged soft tissue. This is important because once blood vessels are damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the infrapatellar fat pad and patella tendon and tissue cells begin to break-down.
Soft Tissue Repair Therapy
After the inflammation and swelling behind your knee cap and around your patellar tendon is gone, you can begin to treat your entire knee with Soft Tissue Repair Therapy via the Knee T•Shellz Wrap®. A knee T•Shellz Wrap® treatment increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to soft tissue in the knee.
STR Therapy (via use of the Knee T•Shellz Wrap®) compliments your body's natural healing process by promoting blood flow while you give your knee the rest it needs. Energy emitted from the Energy Pad stimulates blood flow to your knee, more than your body would ever be able to generate on it's own, giving your body the boost it needs to continue the reconditioning process. This enhanced blood flow helps speed tissue repair, whisk away toxins and dead cells, and rejuvenates soft tissue for improved elasticity.
During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your knee until your pain and inflammation settle. Taking the time to care for your knee properly will have your knee back to normal faster and allow you to get back to the activities you enjoy.
With these easy therapies you will notice incredible results in your knee. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
We recommend that you consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!