The human body is considered to have a number of bones and cartilage all over. And although all grown up have the similar kind of skeletal system, it is not a surprise that there is quite a lot of variation between a child’s framework and that of an adult.
Today we are going to be discussing one such point and that is about the human kneecap. The human kneecap vastly differs from that of a newborn. And many are still confused whether newborns even have a kneecap or not?
To answer that, please continue reading the article. I am sure it will give you much more knowledge about the topic. But, before that a general idea about kneecaps. The patella is actually a thick, circular-triangular bone which articulates with the femur (thigh bone) and covers and protects the anterior articular surface of the knee joint. The patella is common not just in human but in various tetra-pods such as mice, cats and birds but not in whales or most reptiles.
Babies do have kneecaps; they are just sifter than those of adults. In children, the bones have to be strong enough to support the body but soft enough to let the body grow accordingly. So this is the answer to the question, do baby have kneecaps? A newborn’s kneecap (patella) is almost made up of complete cartilage. Around the ages 3-5, areas of hard bone start to form in the patella in regular patches. These patches in future grow and expand over the years to form a firm kneecap by the ages 10-12. There still remains plenty of cartilage for the growth of the child. The adult kneecaps arrive somewhere between the adolescence or young adulthood, removing the bony patches and making a final expansion replacing almost the entire cartilage and giving strong adult kneecaps as a result.
The structure and function:
In humans, the patella is the largest sesamoid bone in the body. A sesamoid bone is a bone embedded within a tendon or a muscle. It is triangular in shape with the apex of the patella facing downwards. The front and back surfaces are joined by a margin. The tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle attaches to the base of the patella with the vastus intermedius muscle attaching to the base itself, and the vastus lateralis and vastusmedialis are attached to outer lateral and medial borders of patella.
The most important function of the kneecap is the knee extension. It increases the leverage that the tendon can exert on the femur. The patella is stabilized by the insertion of the horizontal prominence of the lateral femoral condyle.
So, I hope this article answers all the questions about kneecaps and is helpful in providing an insight about their structure and function, growth, characteristic and the most important about baby kneecaps and the change in structure over the years. The basic difference between an adult patella lies only in the difference of cartilage for children and bone in the case of adults the function remains the same though.