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A small, lens-shaped bone at the front of the knee. It develops within the tendon which attaches the quadriceps muscles (the four muscles on the front of the thigh) onto the tibia. The kneecap has two major functions: first, it protects the front of the knee joint; second, it provides a low friction surface, improving the efficiency of the thigh muscles that straighten the lower leg. The kneecap is in a very vulnerable position and it is poorly nourished, making it susceptible to injury. See also knee.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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