A large infrapatellar fat pad protects against knee pain and lateral tibial cartilage volume loss

Andrew Teichtahl, Ema Wulidasari, Sharmayne Rukmini Emma Brady, YuanYuan Wang, Anita Estelle Wluka, Changhai Ding, Graham Gerald Giles, Flavia Maria Cicuttini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The infrapatellar fat pad (IPFP) is commonly resected during knee joint arthroplasty, but the ramifications of doing so are unclear. This longitudinal study determined whether the size of the IPFP (maximum cross-sectional area (CSA)) was associated with knee cartilage loss and the development of knee pain in adults without knee osteoarthritis (OA). Methods: A total of 297 adults without American College of Rheumatology clinical criteria for a diagnosis of knee OA were recruited. Knee MRI was performed at baseline and an average of 2.3years later. IPFP maximal CSA and tibial cartilage volume were measured from MRI. A large and small IPFP were defined by the median split, with a large IPFP defined by being in the highest 50 . Body composition was performed at baseline using bio-impedance. Knee pain was assessed at follow-up using the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Results: A larger IPFP at baseline was associated with reduced knee pain at follow-up (OR 0.5, 95 CI: 0.3 to 0.9, p=0.02) and lateral tibial cartilage volume loss (?: -0.9 (95 CI: -1.6, -0.1 ) per annum, p=0.03). The maximal CSA of the IPFP was predominantly located in the lateral (54.2 ), rather than the medial tibiofemoral compartment (1.7 ). Male gender (OR 12.0, 95 CI: 6.5 to 22.0, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 7
Number of pages7
JournalArthritis Research & Therapy
Issue number1 (Art. No: 318)
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this