What are kneecaps and are babies born without them?

Babies are a handful. The moment they learn to crawl and walk, they start to run around the place. They even fall many times during their learning process of walking. They cry a little and then they are back to their mischiefs. But as parents you would have always wondered that they never break a bone, no matter how hard they fall.

One of the known facts about babies is that the baby’s bones are very soft for 2 to 3 years. Post that the bones start getting stronger and better. Usually when baby’s fall, they fall directly on their knees, yet they don’t get affected so much. So, does baby have kneecaps? This is a question that is asked by many parents to their doctors.

Do babies have kneecaps from birth?

Babies do have kneecaps, but they are very soft than the adult kneecaps. In the initial years, the bones and cartilages are immature and they continue to grow stronger as they grow older. Even though the bones are very soft and delicate, they are strong enough to support the body. Once the baby reaches their adulthood, the kneecaps are developed completely and achieve more strength.

What are kneecaps?

Kneecaps or patella is a circular bone that is located in the front of your femur. The purpose of kneecaps is to provide movement and acts as an extension to your leg. The patella is embedded in a muscle and makes your leg work better.

How do the kneecaps develop?

At the time of birth, the patella is present in babies but it is not in a form of a bone. It is all cartilage. Over a period of time, this cartilage turns into a bone through a process known as ossification. In a human body most of the cartilages are formed into bones even before the birth. But patella is only formed after birth.

The ossification process usually starts after the age of 3. During the process, the bone starts forming within the cartilage of the kneecap and eventually turns itself into a bony kneecap. One important fact to know is that, the kneecap is not formed until puberty.

Are babies born without kneecaps?

One thing to know clearly is that babies are born with kneecaps, though they are not called kneecaps until they are formed completely. In early stages, the kneecaps are just cartilages. If you get an X-ray done for your baby you might not find a kneecap then. But it does not mean that they are born without them. Kneecaps are an important part of body because they help us in doing our daily tasks effortlessly. If the kneecaps weren’t there, then we might be using a lot of force to do our daily chores.

Imagine if the babies had bony kneecaps from their birth. Then every time they would fall during the learning process of standing and walking, the sounds would completely kill the parents. Currently, you don’t hear any sounds of rupture when babies fall. So, it is good that baby kneecaps are formed after birth.

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