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.

Part of a course by knee surgeon, Dr Ronald Grelsamer.

Tony Wilson discusses practical issues around taping the kneecap.




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.

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