Patella :: embryology
Clin Anat. 2011 Mar ;24 (2):225-31 21322045
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey. email@example.com
This study aims to determine the development and morphology of the patella and patellar tendon and to obtain morphometric data about these structures during the fetal period. One hundred five human fetuses (55 males and 50 females) aged 9-40 weeks were used in this study. Fetuses were divided into four groups between gestational weeks; Group I (9-12 weeks), Group II (13-25 weeks), Group III (26-37 weeks), and Group IV (38-40 weeks). The patella and patellar ligament were exposed via anatomical dissection; the dimensions (length, width, thickness) and the width of the lateral and medial articular surfaces of the patella, and the length and width of the patellar ligament, were measured using a Vernier's caliper. No significant differences were observed between genders or sides for any of the parameters (P > 0.05), and a significant correlation was found between gestational age and all parameters (P < 0.001). All parameters of the patella and patellar ligament were found to be different statistically between trimesters (P < 0.05). This study reveals the development, morphological changes, and the morphometric measurements of the patella and patellar ligament during the fetal period. We hope that the present results can be useful for future studies.
Most cited papers:
Fetal and postnatal development of the patella, patellar tendon and suprapatella in the rabbit; changes in the distribution of the fibrillar collagens.
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.
The development of the patella, its associated tendons, and suprapatella of the rabbit knee joint is described from the 17 d fetus to the mature adult. The patellar tendon (ligament) with the patella on its posterior surface is seen in the 17 d fetus and is fully developed by 1 postnatal wk. It is composed of bundles of types I and V collagens separated by endotenons of types III and V collagens. Anteriorly there is an epitenon of types III and V collagens while synovium and a fat pad cover its posterior surface. In the 25 d fetus, the patella is cartilaginous and is separated from the femoral condyles. The cartilage contains type II collagen, but types I, III and V collagens are found along the articular surface. Ossification starts 1 postnatal wk and at 6 wk only the articular cartilage remains. In addition to type II, types III and V collagens are located around the chondrocyte lacunae. The long anterior junction between the patella and its tendon is fibrocartilaginous at 1 wk, but as ossification proceeds this is replaced by bone. Types I and V collagens are found in this region. The suprapatella on the posterior surface of the quadriceps tendon is first seen 1 wk postnatally as an area of irregularly organised fibres and chondrocyte-like cells. Types I, II, III and V collagens are present from 3 wk onwards. It is compared with the fibrocartilage of other tendons that are under compression. The arrangement of the collagens in the patellar tendon is discussed in relation to its use as a replacement for injured anterior cruciate ligaments. It is suggested that the structural differences between the patellar tendon and anterior cruciate ligament preclude the translocated tendon acquiring mechanical strength similar to that of a normal cruciate ligament. The designation 'patellar ligament' as opposed to 'patellar tendon' is questioned. It is argued that the term patellar tendon reflects its structure more accurately than patellar ligament.
Department of Anatomy, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, F.R.G.
At the end of the 4th fetal month, the suprapatellar septum completely separates the knee joint cavity from the suprapatellar bursa. A perforation of the septum normally occurs at the end of the 5th fetal month. Mechanical factors, such as the pressure and friction of the quadriceps tendon on the condylar surface, are said to determine the form and extent of the perforation. Anatomic studies of adult knee joints revealed four variants in the further development of the suprapatellar septum, namely, a completely preserved septum (complete septum), a perforated septum with the communication between suprapatellar bursa and knee joint cavity differing in localization and number (perforated septum), a residual septum in the form of a fold that is almost always in a medial localization (residual septum), or a completely involuted septum (extinct septum). The clinical term "suprapatellar synovial plica" should not be used as a synonym for the expression "suprapatellar septum." The suprapatellar synovial fold corresponds to the residual septum and thus is only one of the four types of the suprapatellar septum.
Saint Joseph University, Hôtel-Dieu de France Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon. firstname.lastname@example.org
There has been considerable confusion between true congenital dislocation of the patella and other patellar instabilities. Only very few papers describing the anatomical features of congenital dislocation of the patella are found in the literature. The purpose of this paper was to describe the anatomical anomalies found in two cadaver specimens of a true permanent and irreducible congenital patellar dislocation. The quadriceps femoris is short and displaced laterally and acts as a knee flexor. The patella is small, articulating with the outer aspect of the lateral condyle, with no possibility of medial reduction onto the trochlea. Many other anomalies involving the bones, muscles, and nervous structures were found. Congenital dislocation of the patella must be distinguished from other patellar dislocations in children. The severity of structural anomalies is mainly owing to its prenatal onset. Congenital
José Tena-Arregui, Carmen Barrio-Asensio, Fermín Viejo-Tirado, Javier Puerta-Fonollá, Jorge Murillo-González
C.O.A. Servicio de Traumatología y Cirugía Ortopédica, Clínica Santa Elena, Madrid, Spain.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to macroscopically examine the fetal knee joint via arthroscopy. We have attempted to identify and describe the specific characteristics of the fetal knee joint, how it evolves during the last few weeks of intrauterine development, and any possible variations with regard to the adult knee. TYPE OF STUDY: Observational anatomic case series. METHODS: We used 20 frozen fetuses with a gestational age of 24 to 40 +/- 2 weeks, obtained from spontaneous abortions. Examination was performed with standard arthroscopic surgical equipment, using a 2.7-mm optical lens. Whenever possible, we tried to use standard arthroscopic portals. Images were obtained for comparison with the adult knee. RESULTS: Suprapatellar and infrapatellar septa were an almost consistent finding. The suprapatellar septum always opened laterally and was intact in the developmentally younger specimens. We found 2 mediopatellar septa. The femoral attachment of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) differed in appearance from that of the adult in that it was more ribbon-like. The lateral meniscus had a more spread-out appearance than its adult counterpart, especially in the specimens of a younger gestational age. We were surprised at the easy accessibility of the popliteal hiatus and the clear arthroscopic vision we were able to obtain of the involved structures. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first arthroscopic study to target the fetal knee. The results indicate minimal differences when compared with the adult knee, and for some structures, such as the popliteal hiatus, the anatomy seen was easier to discern than in adult knee arthroscopy.
Unité d'anthropologie, Adaptabilité Biologique et Culturelle, CNRS-Université de la Méditerranée, Faculté de médecine Timone, Marseille, France.
We performed a biometric analysis of the femoral trochlear groove in the fetus and compared our findings with those observed in adults. We studied 44 formalin-preserved fetuses (13-38 weeks) and used digitized images to obtain measurements (alpha angle of the groove, trochlear slopes thetaL and thetaM). A comparison of means between our series and adults was achieved. For each angle of the distal epiphysis (alpha, thetaL, thetaM) there was no significant difference between our fetal series and adults. This is the first biometric study of fetal trochlea. The morphology of the lower femur appears to be the same in the fetus and the adult.
The suprapatellar structures are often overlooked during double contrast knee arthrography. A plica synovialis suprapatellaris representing a remnant structure from the embryonic septum between knee joint and suprapatellar bursa was identified in 40 of 53 double contrast knee arthrograms. Symptoms including knee pain and clicking have been described in association with the presence of a plica synovialis. Only one of 40 patients in this series, however, was treated for the diagnosis of plica syndrome. Plica synovialis suprapatellaris is a common, usually incidental finding at knee arthrography and should not be mistaken for an adhesion or other capsular abnormality if the clinical findings of plica syndrome are absent.