Synovial Plica Irritation

Synovial Plica Syndrome

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 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.

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.

This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.
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