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Lateral Patellar Retinaculum
Connective Tissue

Lateral Patellar Retinaculum

Retinaculum laterale patellae

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The lateral patellar retinaculum is a fibrous expansion comprising of superficial and deeper layers.

The superficial fibers of the lateral patellar retinaculum originate from the iliotibial band and from the vastus lateralis fascia. These fibers pass anteriorly to insert into the patella and patellar tendon.

The deep layer is comprised of several sub-components, including the lateral patellofemoral ligament, the transverse ligament, and the patellotibial and epicondylopatellar bands.

—The transverse ligament courses transversely from the deep portion of the iliotibial tract to the lateral margin of the patella.

—The patellotibial band arises from the patella at the inferior margin of the transverse ligament and inserts in the proximal tibia and lateral meniscus.

—The epicondylopatellar band extends from the patella at the superior margin of the transverse ligament and inserts into the lateral epicondyle (Starok et al., 1997).

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The lateral patellar retinaculum acts as a stabilizer of the patella and resists medial patellar displacement.


Starok, M., Lenchik, L., Trudell, D. and Resnick, D. (1997) 'Normal patellar retinaculum: MR and sonographic imaging with cadaveric correlation', AJR Am J Roentgenol, 168(6), pp. 1493-9.

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