In the operation of 'patellectomy' the patella bone is cut out.
The patella is the kneecap, the small bone sitting over the front of the knee. It is an unusual bone, inasmuch as it is actually part of the tendon of the quadriceps (quads) tendon, and it can be removed leaving the tendon still intact.
Patellectomy is performed generally only after all other options are exhausted, as the patient may be left with weak and incomplete extension (leg straightening), and the lack of the patella may cause problems if subsequently a total knee replacement is considered.
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