The patella is the kneecap, the bone sitting over the front of the knee. Plural = 'patellae'.

The patella is a 'sesamoid bone', contained within a tendon, and subject to the forces that pass through that tendon and its related muscles. The part of the tendon below the patella is called the patellar tendon, while the part above is called the quads tendon, but it is all part of a single functional structure.

patella with patellar tendon and quads tendon patella within the tendon of the quads muscle patella from above
The patella from the side, showing its relationship to the femur bone underneath it. The quads muscle with its tendons containing the patella is known as the 'extensor mechanism'. Showing the relationship of the patella to the underlying groove of the femur.

Factors contributing to an unstable patella

An ebook by Dr Lars Blond about factors contributing to an unstable patella

Explaining how the kneecap glides within the underlying groove of the femur bone.

How to perform patellar mobilisations

A brief but high value eBook - fully illustrated - showing how to keep the tissues around the kneecap supple.

Knee bones from above

Simple illustrations to give a birds' eye view of the knee bones.

Knee bones from front (bent knee)

Brief introduction to the bony anatomy of the knee, with clear illustrations.




Patellar position in patients with patellofemoral syndrome as characterized by anatomo-radiographic study. Franco BAFM, Sadigursky D, Daltro GC. Rev Bras Ortop. 2018 Jul 7;53(4):410-414.

Acute traumatic patellar dislocation. Duthon VB. Orthop Traumatol Surg Res. 2015 Feb;101(1 Suppl):S59-67.

See also -