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Isr Med Assoc J. 2009 Jan;11(1):54-7.

Medial plica syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel.


Synovial plicae are membranous inward folds of the synovial lining of the knee joint capsula. Such folds are regularly found in the human knee, but most are asymptomatic and of little clinical consequence. However, they can become symptomatic and cause knee pain. In this review, we will discuss medial plica syndrome. Medial plica irritation of the knee is a common source of anterior knee pain. The main complaint is an intermittent, dull, aching pain in the area medial to the patella above the joint line and in the supramedial patellar area. Pain increases with activity, especially when knee flexion and extension are required. Treatment includes physiotherapy, reducing activity, and rest. In cases that do not respond initially to an exercise program, corticosteroid injections and non-steroidal antiinflammatory medication are given. Results of conservative treatment seem to be more appropriate in young patients with a short duration of symptoms. If conservative treatment fails, surgical treatment using arthroscopy is appropriate. During arthroscopy, excision of the whole plica should be achieved.

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