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.
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The large sesamoid bone, in the combined tendon of the extensors of the leg, covering the anterior surface of the knee. SYN: kneecap. [L. a small plate, the kneecap, dim. of patina, a shallow disk, fr. pateo, to lie open]
- p. alta term used to describe a somewhat more proximal position of the p. than anticipated when it is visualized on a lateral radiograph of the knee. [p. + L. alta, high]
- p. baja term used to describe a somewhat more distal position of the p. than anticipated when it is visualized on a lateral radiograph of the knee. [p. + Sp. baja, low]
- floating p. a p. elevated by the presence of a knee effusion.
- slipping p. spontaneous or easily provoked dislocation of the p..

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pa·tel·la pə-'tel-ə n, pl -lae -'tel-(.)ē, -.ī or -las a thick flat triangular movable bone that forms the anterior point of the knee, protects the front of the joint, increases the leverage of the quadriceps, and is usu. regarded as a sesamoid bone since it is developed in the tendon of the quadriceps and in structure is similar to other sesamoid bones called also kneecap, kneepan
pa·tel·lar -ər adj

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the lens-shaped bone that forms the kneecap. It is situated in front of the knee in the tendon of the quadriceps muscle of the thigh. See also sesamoid bone.

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pa·tel·la (pə-telґə) [L., dim of patera a shallow dish] [TA] a triangular sesamoid bone, about 5 cm in diameter, situated at the front of the knee in the tendon of insertion of the quadriceps extensor femoris muscle. Called also knee cap. patellar adj

Patella. Left patella shown in anterior (A) and posterior (B) aspects.

Medical dictionary. 2011.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Patella — bezeichnet: eine Gattung der Napfschnecken, siehe Patella darin die Gemeine Napfschnecke (Patella vulgata) die Kniescheibe bei Wirbeltieren ein Beinglied der Spinnentiere zwischen Femur und Tibia ein antikes Gefäß, siehe Patella (Gefäß) Patella,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Patella — Pa*tel la, n.; pl. {Patell[ae]}. [L., a small pan, the kneepan, dim. of patina, patena, a pan, dish.] 1. A small dish, pan, or vase. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) The kneepan; the cap of the knee. [1913 Webster] 3. (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of marine… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • patella — /pa tɛl:a/ s.f. [dal lat. patella padella, piatto ]. (anat.) [osso del ginocchio] ▶◀ rotula …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • patella — (n.) knee cap, 1690s, from L. patella pan, kneecap, dim. of patina pan (see PAN (Cf. pan) (n.)). So called from its shape …   Etymology dictionary

  • Patella [1] — Patella (lat.), 1) Schüsselchen; 2) (Bot.), so v.w. Näpfchen (s.d. 2) u. 3); 3) die Kniescheibe …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Patella [2] — Patella, 1) (P. Lin.), Napfschnecke, Schneckengattung aus der Familie der Heterobranchia Cyclobranchia od. Kreiskiemer, mit napfförmigem, am Wirbel nicht durchbohrtem Gehäuse; es gibt über 60 an Felsen in allen Meeren umherkriechende u. mehre… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Patella [1] — Patella (lat., »Schüsselchen«), die Kniescheibe (s. Knie); auch eine Meeresschnecke …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Patella [2] — Patella, s. Ackerkulte …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Patella — (lat.), Tellerchen, Opferschale; Kniescheibe …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Patella — PATELLA, æ, eine Göttinn der Römer, welche über die Dinge gesetzet war, die eröffnet werden sollten. Arnob. ap. Coqueum ad Augustin. l. IV. c. 8 …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • patella — ► NOUN (pl. patellae) Anatomy ▪ the kneecap. DERIVATIVES patellar adjective. ORIGIN Latin, small dish …   English terms dictionary

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