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Plica Band Syndrome

Dr. Renny Uppal, MD

Dr. Uppal is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is one of a few physicians in Nevada who has earned his Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine from The American Board of Medical Specialties. He is also an active member of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.

What is a Plica Band?

Plica Bands are elastic fibers inside the knee that usually run along the side of the kneecap. These bands usually disappear early on in childhood. However, in some people, the bands never go away.

Plica Band Syndrome Symptoms

  • “Popping” or “Snapping” of the knee
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Pain when bending and utilizing the knee
  • Symptoms are usually just off the inside of the patella

These bands usually do not cause any problems and most people do not even notice them. Occasionally the bands become irritated and inflamed; this may cause them to become thickened and possibly painful. 

Plica Band Syndrome Treatment

  • Rest
  • Icing
  • Anti-inflammatory Medication
  • Bracing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Steroid Injection
  • Arthroscopic Surgery

Symptoms usually respond to rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory medication. Physical therapy at the Reno Orthopedic Center can help to decide what treatment is best if at-home care is not helping the pain. Occasionally a steroid injection may be used to reduce swelling. In rare cases when the symptoms persist or recur, arthroscopic surgery to remove the plica band may be required.

If arthroscopic surgery is needed, then a thorough diagnostic evaluation is performed first to ensure there are no other causes of the symptoms. Next, the plica band is resected, and any impinging synovium (lining cells) are removed. The recovery is usually 6-8 weeks and physical therapy is usually required to optimize the results.

Services the Reno Orthopedic Center Offers

To help with Plica Band Syndrome you can visit the Reno Orthopedic Center. Physical therapy is offered at each ROC location that can help to reduce or even eliminate pain. In the case that the injury is too severe, surgery can be performed at the ROC. These services are offered in Reno, Sparks, Galena, North Valley’s, and Carson.