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Hoffa's disease


Hoffa's disease is a disease that affects the knee. It is also called, in medical terms, "lipoma arborescence of the knee synovium." It mainly affects the fat pad located in the knee, behind the patellar tendon. It is an inflammation of the Hoffa "fat pad". This is a very rare disease that is benign, but potentially disabling.


Hoffa's disease manifests itself in several ways:
  • pain in the front of the knee that is increased by movement;
  • increase the volume of knee;
  • occasional discomfort when performing movements or a blocking sensation when climbing or descending stairs;
  • "crackling" in painful place;
  • feelings of instability.


The diagnosis of Hoffa's disease is difficult to make because the symptoms are not very specific and can be found in many other diseases. An x-ray of the knee often looks normal and an MRI does not always confirm the diagnosis. An arthroscopic technique using a camera that allows direct visual examination of the joint may show any inflammation pr abnormal proliferation of fatty tissue.


Treatment against the disease is initially the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. If ineffective, local corticosteroid injections may reduce symptoms. In the event that the latter scenario does not work, ligament resection should be considered via arthroscopy. If in doubt, arthroscopy allows to confirm the diagnosis and treat the disease in one single gesture.


There is no specific prevention of Hoffa's disease.

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