Synovial Plica Irritation

Synovial plica

A Synovial plica is a fold in the synovial membrane in the knee joint. It is sometimes confused with, or misdiagnosed as patellofemoral pain syndrome as the symptoms can be similar.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms of a synovial plica include a sharp pain at the front inside edge of the kneecap.
  • The pain may also be towards the back of the patella.
  • The athlete may feel a sharp pain when squatting.
  • A synovial plica may sometimes feel like a thickened band under the inside of the kneecap.

Synovial plica labelled

What is a synovial plica?

The knee joint is lubricated with a substance called synovial fluid. This fluid is surrounded by and produced by a sheath called the synovial sheath. The synovial plica is a synovial fold found along the inside border of the kneecap. The synovial sheath may also become more widely inflamed. This is known as knee synovitis.


Preventing Synovial plica

A synovial or patella plica should be considered the main cause of pain only when the patient has failed to respond to treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome.

A surgeon may perform an arthroscopy to look into the joint, identify a plica and remove it.

Other causes of patella pain

Chondromalacia patella

Chondromalacia Patella

Chondromalacia patella (CMP) is damage to the articular cartilage under the kneecap. Symptoms are similar to patellofemoral pain as the kneecap rubs on the bone…
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Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) results from the patella (kneecap) rubbing on the femur bone underneath. It may also be known as Runner’s knee, Chondromalacia patellae,…
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Patellofemoral instability

Patellofemoral Instability

Patellofemoral instability usually involves the patient having a sensation of their kneecap ‘slipping away’ or feeling loose. It can occur through a number of anatomical…
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This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.
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