Journal of Medical Ultrasonics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 147–151 | Cite as

Use of ultrasonography to evaluate the dynamics of the infrapatellar fat pad after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a feasibility study

  • Takashi Kitagawa
  • Junsuke NakaseEmail author
  • Yasushi Takata
  • Kengo Shimozaki
  • Kazuki Asai
  • Hiroyuki Tsuchiya
Original Article



There has been no specific study on the quantitative morphological changes that occur in the infrapatellar fat pad (IPFP) after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. We used ultrasonography to evaluate the dynamics of the IPFP in knees after ACL reconstruction using the contralateral knees as controls.


We enrolled 31 patients 3 months after they underwent ACL reconstruction. The thickness of the superficial part of the IPFP was measured using longitudinally oriented ultrasound images of the anterior part of both knees at 90° and 10° flexion. We then used these data to calculate the ratio of the change in thickness.


At 90° knee flexion, the superficial part of the IPFP was significantly thinner in the reconstructed knees (9.3 ± 3.4 mm) than in the contralateral knees (11.8 ± 4.6 mm). The thickness change ratio was significantly smaller in the reconstructed knees (188.6 ± 64.7%) than in the contralateral knees (249.7 ± 73.8%).


When assessed 3 months after ACL reconstruction, the thickness of the superficial part of the IPFP at 90° knee flexion and the thickness change ratio of the IPFP were both significantly lower in the reconstructed knees than in the contralateral knees.


Anterior cruciate ligament Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction Ultrasonography Infrapatellar fat pad Knee joint 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no sources of funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical statements

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Kitagawa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junsuke Nakase
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yasushi Takata
    • 1
  • Kengo Shimozaki
    • 1
  • Kazuki Asai
    • 1
  • Hiroyuki Tsuchiya
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of RehabilitationJapanese Red Cross Kanazawa HospitalKanazawaJapan

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