Medical Definition of Kneecap

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Kneecap: The patella, the small bone in the front of the knee. The patella is a little (sesamoid) bone, embedded in the tendon of insertion of the quadriceps muscle. If the patella is shattered beyond repair, it can be removed in an operation called a patellectomy and sometimes replaced with prosthetic material.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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