Do Babies Have Kneecaps? Risks And Complications Fact Sheet

Do Babies Have Kneecaps? Risks And Complications Fact Sheet

Babies are fascinating creatures with so many mysteries surrounding their development. One common question parents often ask is whether babies have kneecaps or not. It’s a question that has baffled many, but the answer is quite simple. Yes, babies do have kneecaps, but they are not fully formed at birth. The development of kneecaps in babies is a fascinating process that involves various stages. However, there are certain risks and complications that can arise during this process, which we’ll discuss in this fact sheet.

Do Babies Have Kneecaps?

Well, a baby is born without knee caps. Yes, you read it right. But don’t mix it up that he has nothing at the “place.” A new-born baby has a very soft body, and instead of hard joints, there are cartilage bones like in our nose and ear. These bones are replaced later with hard knee caps. 

Do babies have kneecaps? Do they need them? What are the risks and complications of not having kneecaps?

Kneecaps, also called patellae, are small bones that cover and protect the front of the knee joint. They are present in both adults and babies. Babies do not necessarily need kneecaps, as they are born with soft cartilage that will eventually harden and become their kneecaps. However, there are some risks and complications associated with not having kneecaps.

One risk is that babies may not fully extend their legs, which can affect their ability to walk. Babies who do not have kneecaps may also be more prone to knee injuries. Additionally, kneecaps play a role in joint stability and help protect the knee from damage. Therefore, babies who do not have kneecaps may be at greater risk for injury.

Overall, though kneecaps are not essential for babies, they may provide some benefits. If your baby does not have kneecaps, be sure to monitor them for any signs of difficulty walking or increased risk of injury.

Why Is There No Kneecap In A Baby? 

During pregnancy, a human child is fully formed. Certain developments happen after birth like growing teeth, hardening of bones and activation of lungs, etc. 

This development takes its own time. But focusing on kneecaps, if a baby had knee caps, imagine birth process with hard bones. Cartilage bones are flexible and make the birth process easy. 

Secondly, If a baby had knee caps than keeping aside the difficulty of the birth process, there will be a high risk of bone breakage during labor and birth. 

Cartilage bones make crawling and movement easy for babies. With time these soft bones are replaced by knee caps, and a child starts walking. 

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When Does Knee Caps Form In A Baby? 

Babies have flexible bodies than adults. Their bones start hardening from 2 years, and the process continues up to 6 years. 

Cartilage starts replacing bones in the early years, and the process will take years to complete. At the age of 12, the knee cap will be fully formed, replacing cartilage bone, although some pieces of cartilage bones will remain soft. There is also a fat tissue called fat pad in knees. 


Risks And Complications

Children surely have risks, while knee caps are replacing cartilage bone. During the development of knee caps, there can be complications involved due to the complex formation of knee joints and the amount of stress that it tolerates. 

Osgood Schlatter Disease

This disease causes a lump under the knee cap and can be very painful. This usually happens in young athletes. 

The symptoms of Osgood Schlatter disease go away when a child stops growing. But it is painful and gets better with rest. Any activity like running or walking will make it worse. 

Ligament Injury

The ligaments joining knee caps may get torn out due to stress or weight. This causes strain on the knees. 

Bipartite Patella

With time cartilage bone transforms into a knee cap. But when the whole bone doesn’t get replaced by a knee cap, the disease is called the bipartite patella. The bipartite patella can be painful for children.

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Torn Meniscus 

A piece of cartilage can get torn in a torn meniscus. This is very painful for children. 

How To Keep Your Knees Healthy? 

Some activities can keep your knees healthy and in the running. 

Know Your Knees

First of all, know the structure and basic anatomy of your knee. The largest joint in the body is your Knee. Other muscles in the leg support the knee. Quadricep, hamstring, hips, and glute acts as a stabilizer for the knee. 

Strengthen Your Knee Muscles 

You should do exercises that strengthen the muscles. Aerobics and yoga can make your knee joints healthy and strong. There are exercise steps for strengthening knees that you can effortlessly search on the internet. 

Lose weight

Extra body weight causes stress on muscles. Excess weight can make knees hurt and weak. Losing weight will not only keep your body healthy but also your knees secure and happy. 

Increase Range Of Motion

Moving less can make your joints stiff. Increase range of motion so the knees can keep moving and remain active and fit. 

Healthy Diet 

A healthy diet is also essential for knee health. Add anti-inflammatory food like fish, olive oil, and avocado in your diet. 

You should get enough vitamin E and calcium for bone health.

Avoid Straining Activities 

Don’t do an activity that can cause stress on your muscles and torn your knee cap. 

Do Babies Have Kneecaps?


So now we know that a baby is born without a knee cap, but there is a soft bone that is replaced by a hard knee cap over time. 


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