University Football Player with Hoffa’s Fat Pad Syndrome: A Disablement Model Case Study


  • Kaitlyn Jones North Geenville University
  • Kristy Dao Allen University
  • Zachary K Winkelmann University of South Carolina



A 23-year-old university football player presented with acute onset anterior knee pain with no distinct mechanism of injury. The pain began soon after the start of fall football camp and prevented the patient from participating in team activities, including weights and practices. Along with pain, the patient experienced edema, decreased knee flexion range of motion, and an antalgic gait. The findings of the evaluation of this patient were consistent with Hoffa’s fat pad syndrome, an inflammatory and impingement condition of the infrapatellar fat pad that is often a rare diagnosis of exclusion. Conservative treatment was used for this patient, which included rest, therapeutic rehabilitation exercises, cold modalities, and manual therapies. The patient adhered well to the treatment plan and was attentive and committed to his progress. Within two weeks, the patient was partially participating in team weights, and after a month, the patient was fully participating in practice again. Hoffa’s fat pad syndrome is frequently overlooked and not treated properly, although this case and other research have shown that it responds well to conservative treatment. Understanding the role and involvement of the infrapatellar fat pad in anterior knee pain and knee biomechanics can be beneficial in recognizing conditions that affect the fat pad and implementing proper intervention programs that yield positive patient outcomes. Hoffa’s fat pad syndrome is a manageable and treatable pathology that should be considered more in differential diagnoses of anterior knee pain.






Disablement Model Case Study

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>