The patellar ligament (anterior ligament) is the central portion of the common tendon of the quadriceps femoris, which is continued from the patella to the tuberosity of the tibia. It is sometimes called the patellar tendon.


The patellar ligament is a strong, flat, ligament, about 10 cm in length. It 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 tendon of the quadriceps 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 ligamentum patellae is separated from the synovial membrane of the joint by a large infrapatellar pad of fat, and from the tibia by a bursa.


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