Tue . 18 Nov 2018


patellar tendinitis, patella
The patella /pəˈtɛlə/, also known as the kneecap or kneepan, is a thick, circular-triangular bone which articulates with the femur thigh bone and covers and protects the anterior articular surface of the knee joint The patella is found in many tetrapods, such as mice, cats, and birds, but not in whales, most reptiles nor amphibians such as frogs

In humans, the patella is the largest sesamoid bone in the body Babies are born with a patella of soft cartilage which begins to ossify into bone at about three years of age


  • 1 Structure
    • 11 Variation
    • 12 Development
  • 2 Function
  • 3 Clinical significance
    • 31 Dislocation
    • 32 Fracture
    • 33 Exostosis
  • 4 Other animals
  • 5 Etymological history
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


The patella is a sesamoid bone roughly triangular in shape, with the apex of the patella facing downwardsThe apex is the most inferior lowest part of the patella It is pointed in shape, and gives attachment to the patellar ligament

The front and back surfaces are joined by a thin margin and towards centre by a thicker margin The tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle attaches to the base of the patella, with the vastus intermedius muscle attaching to the base itself, and the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis are attached to outer lateral and medial borders of patella respectively

The upper third of the front of the patella is coarse, flattened, and rough, and serves for the attachment of the tendon of the quadriceps and often has exostoses The middle third has numerous vascular canaliculi The lower third culminates in the apex which serves as the origin of the patellar ligament The posterior surface is divided into two parts

The upper three-quarters of the patella articulates with the femur and is subdivided into a medial and a lateral facet by a vertical ledge which varies in shape

In the adult the articular surface is about 12 cm2 19 sq in and covered by cartilage, which can reach a maximal thickness of 6 mm 024 in in the centre at about 30 years of age

The lower part of the posterior surface has vascular canaliculi filled and is filled by fatty tissue, the infrapatellar fat pad


In this X-ray, an anatomical variation of the patella can be seen – the bipartate patella, in which the patella is split into two parts

Emarginations ie patella emarginata, a "missing piece" are common laterally on the proximal edge Bipartite patellas are the result of an ossification of a second cartilaginous layer at the location of an emargination Previously, bipartite patellas were explained as the failure of several ossification centres to fuse, but this idea has been rejected Partite patellas occur almost exclusively in men Tripartite and even multipartite patellas occur

The upper three-quarters of the patella articulates with the femur and is subdivided into a medial and a lateral facet by a vertical ledge which varies in shape Four main types of articular surface can be distinguished:

  1. Most commonly the medial articular surface is smaller than the lateral
  2. Sometimes both articular surfaces are virtually equal in size
  3. Occasionally, the medial surface is hypoplastic or
  4. the central ledge is only indicated


In the patella an ossification centre develops between the ages 3–6 years The patella originates from two centres of ossification which unite when fully formed


The primary functional role of the patella is knee extension The patella increases the leverage that the tendon can exert on the femur by increasing the angle at which it acts

It is attached to the tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle, which contracts to extend/straighten the knee The patella is stabilized by the insertion of the horizontal fibres of vastus medialis and by the prominence of the lateral femoral condyle, which discourages lateral dislocation during flexion The retinacular fibres of the patella also stabilize it during exercise

Patella allows uniaxial movements of legs that is back and straightning movements in 180 degree angle

Clinical significance


Main article: Patellar dislocation

Patellar dislocations occur with significant regularity, particular in young female athletes It involves the patella sliding out of its position on the knee, most often laterally, and may be associated with extremely intense pain and swelling The patella can be tracked back into the groove with an extension of the leg, and therefore sometimes returns into the proper position on its own


Main article: Patella fracture

The kneecap is prone to injury because of its particularly exposed location, and fractures of the patella commonly occur as a consequence of direct trauma onto the knee These fractures usually cause swelling and pain in the region, bleeding into the joint hemarthrosis, and an inability to extend the knee Patella fractures are usually treated with surgery, unless the damage is minimum and the extensor mechanism is intact


An exostosis is the formation of new bone onto a bone, as a result of excess calcium formation This can be the cause of chronic pain when formed on the patella

Other animals

The patella has convergently evolved in placental mammals and birds; most marsupials have only rudimentary, non-ossified patellae although a few species possess a bony patella A patella is also present in the living monotremes, the platypus and the echidna In more primitive tetrapods, including living amphibians and most reptiles except some Lepidosaurs, the muscle tendons from the upper leg are attached directly to the tibia, and a patella is not present

Etymological history

The etymology of patella presents a case of convergent etymology In the Western world, 'patella' originated in the late 17th century from the diminutive form of Latin patina or patena or paten, meaning shallow dish The use of this term in Eastern medicine, however, predates the Western etymology As early as the 13th century, traditional Ayurveda practitioners in the Indian subcontinent referred to the kneecap as paṭēla haḍḍī Hindi: पटेल हड्डी, literally 'farmer's bone' because the grueling life of a patidar The term was subsequently shortened to just 'patela' During the British Raj period, Western medicine was introduced to India, and the two etymologies converged into the modern medical use, with two 'L's

See also

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see Anatomical terminology
  • Patellar reflex
  • Knee pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Lateral retinaculum
  • Lateral release


  1. ^ a b c d e f Platzer, Werner 2004 Color Atlas of Human Anatomy, Vol 1: Locomotor System 5th ed Thieme p 194 ISBN 3-13-533305-1 
  2. ^ Palmu, S; Kallio, PE; Donell, ST; Helenius, I; Nietosvaara, Y 2008 "Acute patellar dislocation in children and adolescents: A randomized clinical trial" Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 90 3: 463–470 doi:102106/JBJSG00072 PMID 18310694 
  3. ^ a b Dath, R; Chakravarthy, J; Porter, KM 2006 "Patella Dislocations" Trauma 8: 5–11 doi:101191/1460408606ta353ra 
  4. ^ Bentley, G 2014 European Surgical Orthopaedics and Traumatology: The EFORT Textbook Springer pp 2766–2784 ISBN 978-3642347450 
  5. ^ Herzmark MH 1938 "The Evolution of the Knee Joint" PDF J Bone Joint Surg Am 20 1: 77–84 Retrieved 2007-11-17 
  6. ^ Romer, Alfred Sherwood; Parsons, Thomas S 1977 The Vertebrate Body Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International p 205 ISBN 0-03-910284-X 
  7. ^ New Shorter Oxford
  8. ^ http://wwwetymonlinecom/indexphpterm=patella

External links

  • "Patella overview" The KNEEguru Retrieved March 2010  Check date values in: |access-date= help

patella, patella alta, patella baja, patella dislocation, patella femoral syndrome, patella fracture, patella pain, patellar ligament, patellar tendinitis, patellar tendon

Patella Information about


  • user icon

    Patella beatiful post thanks!


Patella viewing the topic.
Patella what, Patella who, Patella explanation

There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

Random Posts

Modern philosophy

Modern philosophy

Modern philosophy is a branch of philosophy that originated in Western Europe in the 17th century, a...
Tim Shadbolt

Tim Shadbolt

Timothy Richard "Tim" Shadbolt born 19 February 1947 is a New Zealand politician He is the Mayor of ...
HK Express

HK Express

Andrew Cowen Deputy CEO Website wwwhkexpresscom HK Express Traditional Chinese 香港快運航空...
List of shrinking cities in the United States

List of shrinking cities in the United States

The following municipalities in the United States have lost at least 20% of their population, from a...