Patellar Disorders and Conditions


The kneecap (Lat. patella) is a small bone which gives the front of the knee its particular shape. The top of the patella is fused together with the quadriceps tendon. The back of the patella is a joint surface that articulates with the front of the femoral condyles to form the patellofemoral joint. The location of the patella informs its biomechanical function – it increases the angle at which the quadriceps femoris attaches to the tibia, which in turn multiplies the amount of work done severalfold in relation to a fairly small muscular effort. Anatomically, the patella can be classified as the largest sesamoid bone in the human body. This is the term Galen first used to describe the small rounded bones embedded in the tendons of the flexor muscles of the foot. He likened them to sesame seeds.