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Fat pad

Recommended video: Knee joint [29:49]
Sagittal view of the knee joint showing the patellofemoral and tibiofemoral joints.

A fat pad is an accumulation of tightly packed adipose cells surrounded by fibrous tissue septa found throughout the body. They are often found occupying potential spaces within synovial joints, such as the infrapatellar fat pad of the knee joint. Within joints they serve as space fillers and deformable cushions that accommodate to the changing shape of joints during movement. Load bearing fat pads, like the calcaneal fat pad found in the heel of the foot, function to increase the protection of bony surfaces from compressive and shearing forces.

Numerous fat pads are also be located in the face, such as the buccal fat pad that covers the outer surface of the deep part of buccinator. Some other prominent fat pads include the ischioanal fat pad in the anal region, pericardial fat pads in the cardiophrenic space and the precalcaneal fat pad (Kager's fat pad) near the calcaneal tendon.

Terminology English: Fat pad
Latin: Corpus adiposum
Definition Mass of closely packed adipose tissue 

Learn more about synovial joints with this study unit (and article):

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