The kneecap by another name, the patella is the small bone that is in the front of the knee.
The patella is a sesamoid bone, a little bone (sesamoid = like a sesame seed) that is embedded in a joint capsule or tendon, in this case the tendon of insertion of the quadriceps muscle (the “quad”). The patella in an adult is about 2 inches (5 cm) across.
If the patella is shattered beyond repair, it can be removed. The operation is termed a patellectomy.
Patella is a Latin word that referred to a “small pan, dish or plate.” As a saucer, the patella is quite paltry and cannot have held much.
Pertaining to the patella (kneecap).
- Patellar tendon
A tendon that extends down from the quadriceps muscle in the thigh to incorporate the patella (the kneecap) and attach it to the tibia (the shinbone), providing extension at the knee joint. The patellar tendon is also called the patellar ligament because it connects the patella to the tibia. (Ligaments connect bones while tendons connect […]
- Patellar tendonitis
A common injury to the patellar tendon. Also called patellar tendonopathy or jumper’s knee because it often occurs in basketball and volleyball and other high impact sports. There may be sudden aching and pain with subsequent swelling just below the kneecap and the knee may feel weak. Treatment includes rest, ice, and medications to relieve […]
An operation to remove a shattered patella.
- Patellofemoral joint
One of the knee joints. The knee has three parts. The thigh bone (femur) meets the large shin bone (tibia) forming the main knee joint. This joint has an inner (medial) and an outer (lateral) compartment. The kneecap (patella) and the femur form a third joint, called the patellofemoral joint. The knee joint is surrounded […]