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 substance of the patella

The substance of the patella in older persons is quite hard and solid, notwithstanding Galen’s assertion that it is cartilaginous on the outside; 11 Marinus likewise, among other prominent anatomists, independently called it a cartilaginous bone and devoted a chapter to it in a book which he wrote, On Cartilaginous Bones. 12 These authors were perhaps thinking of the material of the tendons to which the patella is attached, which when boiled resembles soft cartilage, like the parts from which the sinewy heads of the muscles or the ligaments take their origin or into which they are inserted. But when the patella is properly cleaned of tendons 13 it is seen to be in no way cartilaginous, but quite solid and strong not only in humans but also in cattle, sheep, and other quadrupeds. Before their knee joint, as well, the Maker of things placed a patella, much longer and narrower than in humans, as in most birds it is wider and shorter. 14



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