What is the functions of my patella or kneecap?  It just seems to be floating above my knee. What does it do?  The patella is located in the tendon of your quadriceps or thigh muscles and it has two important functions.

It lengthens the lever arm of your thigh muscles.  The longer the lever arm the more force generated. The kneecap moves the thigh muscles forward or anteriorly throughout the range of motion of the knee. Increasing the pull angle of the quads on the leg bone or tibia increases the force generated by the quads.

The kneecap also increases the contact area between the patella tendon and the femur (thigh bone). This allows a greater distribution of stress forces on the femur to allow for a stronger contraction.  Injuries or dysfunctions to the patella can cause increased pain.

I’m Steve Taylor, Physical Therapist of Southern Physical and Occupational Therapy Services

Moving You To A Pain-Free Lifestyle


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