Friction Syndromes of the Knee: The Iliotibial Band and Anterior Fat Pads


As participation in sporting activities increases among the general population, the incidence of overuse injuries continues to rise. Friction syndromes of the knee are common and are often clinically diagnosed without the need for imaging. However, clinical symptoms may overlap with other joint abnormalities, and physical examination may be limited in individuals with excessive pain. Magnetic resonance imaging has remained the modality of choice for the evaluation of internal derangements of the joints and is a useful aid in the diagnosis of friction syndrome of the knee. This case report provides clinicians with an understanding of the most common friction syndromes of the knee joint as well as their imaging findings. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 27(1):77–80, 2018)
Key words: fat pad, friction syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, knee, magnetic resonance imaging

Robert D. Wissman, MD, and Stephen J. Pomeranz, MD