Medial Plica Syndrome

What is Medial Plica Syndrome?

Medial plica syndrome can be a highly painful condition that frequently affects runners and other athletes.

A plica is a band of soft tissue on the inside lining of the knee. They are remains of folds of tissue that occur when your knee is beginning to develop when you were inside the womb.

The medial plica is the most commonly affected.

Medial Plica Syndrome Symptoms

The most common symptom is pain at the front and inner side of the knee. The pain could begin after a fierce and direct blow to the knee or a twisting injury.

The pain may worsen when you indulge in activities that involve bending your knees like squatting, running, kneeling and walking up/down stairs. You may also feel a popping, clicking or catching as you bend your knee.

You may also experience episodes where the knee becomes swollen.

Medial Plica Syndrome Diagnosis

Diagnosing medial plica syndrome does not usually call for any special tests. Your physiotherapist or medical practitioner will be able to diagnose this condition based on your symptoms and by doing a physical examination.

However, in some cases, My Knee Doc may recommend an MRI scan to rule out the presence of any other condition or causes for the pain.

Medial Plica Syndrome Treatment

The first part of the treatment involves things you can do yourself to reduce pain. For pain relief, you could:

Rest your knee completely. Avoid indulging in activities that could worsen the pain.

Put ice on the knee area anytime it hurts or after you indulge in any activity that causes pain. Apply ice on the outside of your knee for 15 minutes once every 1 or 2 hours.

Take over-the-counter pain relief medicine like ibuprofen or paracetemol.


My Knee Doc may recommend a physiotherapy programme. Effective treatments include strengthening and stretching exercises for quadriceps, glutes and hip flexors.


Sometimes, your surgeon can treat the condition by using an injection on the painful area.

If your symptoms still persist, then surgery could become necessary. This is usually in the form of keyhole surgery (knee arthroscopy) in which case we will completely remove the plica.

You can arrange an appointment with My Knee Doc to discuss your treatment options.

Medial Plica Syndrome Prevention Tips

Lots of people will have a medial plica in their knee that does not cause them any problems. Some research has shown that correcting the way you run (particularly if you are slightly “knock-kneed”) can help.

Strengthening and stretching the muscles around the hip and knee can also help.

You could arrange to have an expert carry out a running gait analysis to make sure you run the correct way.

If you experience any of the symptoms of medial plica, consult My Knee Doc for advice.

Call 0161 4646399  today to arrange a consultation with Mr Gareth Stables.