Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 32 On the Patella

The situation and form of the patella

A certain round bone [patella] (all of figs. 1, 2 and C on the skeletons) is situated in front of the anterior surface of the knee joint, not unlike a small shield. 5 On its posterior surface [facies articularis] where it faces the femur, it is seen for the most part covered with smooth, slippery cartilage [cartilago articularis], its swelling and depressions elegantly matching the anterior surface [facies patellaris] (H in fig. 2, ch. 30) of the lower heads [condylus medialis, condylus lateralis] of the femur. Along its longitude, it projects with a wide and moderately protruding eminence [eminentia recta] (A, B in fig. 2) which enters the wide depression [facies patellaris] carved in the anterior of the femoral heads. On each side (C, D in fig. 2) of this eminence there is a depression [facet] that receives the projecting surfaces of the femoral heads, which are coated with cartilage [c. articularis]. But as the outer head [condylus lateralis] of the femur extends forward more than the inner [condylus medialis], and is covered with smooth cartilage over a larger area, so too the outer depression of the patella, situated at the outer side of its eminence, is much larger and wider than the inner. Therefore in that part where it makes contact with the femur the patella is smooth and slippery, like the femur. 6 On its anterior surface [facies anterior] (all of fig. 1) and on its sides it appears rough and covered with certain small, blind foramina; 7 similarly in its posterior surface, where in its lowest part [apex patellae] (E in fig. 2) it is brought downward as if in a sharp process and faces the upper end of the tibia, it is rough and equipped with those small foramina so as to attach better and more strongly to the tendons 8 that extend the tibia.



Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 32 On the Patella