J Knee Surg 2012; 25(02): 127-142
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1313741
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

The Basic Science of the Patella: Structure, Composition, and Function

Alice J. S. Fox
1  Laboratory for Soft Tissue Research, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
,
Florian Wanivenhaus
1  Laboratory for Soft Tissue Research, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
,
Scott A. Rodeo
2  Sports Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

30 July 2011

28 December 2011

Publication Date:
16 May 2012 (online)

Abstract

The patella is the largest sesamoid bone in the body. The patellofemoral joint provides an integral articulating component of the extensor mechanism of the knee joint. A detailed description of patella anatomy, embryology and development, neurovascular anatomy, biomechanical function, and imaging modalities is provided in this article. Common patellar pathologies such as patellar instability, trochlear dysplasia, patella alta and baja, and patellofemoral joint arthritis as well as patellofemoral arthroplasty as a treatment option are also discussed. An understanding of the normal anatomy and biomechanics of the patella is a necessary prerequisite for understanding the pathogenesis of disorders involving the knee.