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patella(pətĕl`ə): see kneecapkneecap
(patella), saucer-shaped bone at the front of the knee joint; it protects the ends of the femur, or thighbone, and the tibia, the large bone of the foreleg. The kneecap is embedded in the tendon tissue of the quadriceps femoris, a large thigh muscle.
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A sesamoid bone in front of the knee, developed in the tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle. Also known as kneecap.
1. Anatomy a small flat triangular bone in front of and protecting the knee joint
2. Biology a cuplike structure, such as the spore-producing body of certain ascomycetous fungi
3. Archaeol a small pan