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Medial Genicular Fat Pad Thrombosis as a Cause of Knee Pain

Irwin M. Siegel, M.D.; Sidney Sideman, M.D.
JAMA. 1961;176(8):691-692. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040210016011c.
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A COMMON orthopedic complaint is that of pain about the medial aspect of the knee. An uncommon cause is traumatic venous thrombosis of the medial genicular fat pad.

Diagnostic Considerations 

Anatomy.—  A fat pad overlying the anteromedial aspect of the knee joint is among those areas of body fat which undergo hypertrophy in the obese patient. Draining this adipose deposit are branches of the greater saphenous vein (see the figure).1 In this vulnerable position these venous tributaries are subject to trauma with subsequent thrombosis.

History.—  Patients with this syndrome are usually middle-aged obese females, presenting with pain, swelling, and occasional ecchymosis of one or both medial genicular fat pads. The history is one of gradual onset without unusual trauma. The symptoms may be somewhat relieved by rest.

Examination.—  Physical examination reveals hypertrophy of the fat pads lying along the anteromedial aspect of the knee joints. Some


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