Patellar ligament

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Patellar ligament
Right knee-joint. Anterior view. (Ligamentum patellae visible at bottom left, below patella.)
From patella
To tuberosity of the tibia
Latin ligamentum patellae
MeSH A02.513.514.475
TA A03.6.08.015
FMA 44581
Anatomical terminology

The patellar ligament is the distal portion of the common tendon of the quadriceps femoris, which is continued from the patella to the tibial tuberosity. It is also sometimes called the patellar tendon[1]as it is a continuation of the quadriceps tendon.


The patellar ligament is a strong, flat, ligament, about 5 cm in length, which originates on the apex of the patella distally and adjoining margins of the patella and the rough depression on its posterior surface; below, it inserts on the tuberosity of the tibia; its superficial fibers are continuous over the front of the patella with those of the tendon of the quadriceps femoris.

The medial and lateral portions of the quadriceps tendon pass down on either side of the patella to be inserted into the upper extremity of the tibia on either side of the tuberosity; these portions merge into the capsule, as stated above, forming the medial and lateral patellar retinacula.

The posterior surface of the patellar ligament is separated from the synovial membrane of the joint by a large infrapatellar pad of fat, and from the tibia by a bursa.

Clinical significance[edit]

The patellar ligament can be injured in a patellar tendon rupture.

It can be used as a tissue source in the repair of other ligaments. In the event of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the patellar ligament can be used in the rehabilitation process. In this case, the middle one third of the patellar ligament is harvested and inserted through tunnels that are drilled into the femur and tibia. The portion of the patellar ligament is then drawn through these tunnels in the bone and will be affixed to the bone via screws. The recovery process takes approximately 4-6 months upon the completion of surgery.[2] The patellar ligament method of reconstructing the anterior cruciate ligament is the most common and most preferred method of reconstruction.[3][4]

It is the location of Osgood-Schlatter disease.

See also[edit]

Additional images[edit]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

External links[edit]