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This chain of structures reaches from hip bone to tibia bone and contraction of the muscle/tendon unit straightens (extends) the knee. Chief of these is the quadriceps muscle group.
The patella plays a key role in this process by altering the 'lever arm' and thus the mechanical forces involved.
Quick overview of the kneecap anatomy.
An explanation of factors affecting measurement of the Q-angle.
The kneecap or patella is part of a chain of structures that help to straighten the knee.