pregnancy tips

Babies without kneecaps?

From the time a toddler starts to crawl or walk a little they fall many times. This doesn’t arouse question in your mind that they fall so many times trying to walk and run, their knees get hurt but why their bones doesn’t break? After a long hour of run or jump when they fall they only cry for a while and then simply bounce back with smiles to their previous activities. So do they possess soft bones? These are some questions parents wonder watching them.

If you think of a kneecap as a bone, then for sure the baby does not have one. On the other hand if you are of the opinion that it is a cartilage located in the center of the tendon, then the baby does have one for sure. It does not turn into bone till the stage of puberty.

Babies kneecaps but they are much softer than the adult ones. Even you will get surprise to know that they form kneecap from four months when they are in mother’s womb as foetal. Some babies even start to walk before their first birthday. How they do this if they doesn’t have kneecaps. They have everything like an adult have in his body but in a softer version. Though they are softer but they are strong enough to support their bodies. Babies’ bodies are made up of soft bones and cartilages. With ages these bones and cartilages grow, get elongated and become strong. At the time the baby reaches his adulthood these bones reach their final stage and acquire more strength. In a newborn baby a patella (kneecap) remain as a soft cartilage. With time irregular patches of bone are deposited and form bone patella. They gradually fuse into a firm bony kneecap by the age of 10-12 years. But some remain in cartilage form which remains to grow through adolescence. And as he reaches to adulthood the cartilage is replaced and forms a strong adult-size kneecap.

How their kneecaps grow with ages?

As we discussed earlier that during birth babies’ kneecaps remain in cartilage form. The process of developing of bones from cartilage with age is called ossification. A cell called osteoblast develops in the linings of these cartilages which produce compact bones and covers the cartilages. The blood vessels around the cartilage form nutrient artery. Thus arteries help to nourish the developing bones. At last the primary ossification centre develops and produces bone cells which help to replace the cartilages with some new bones. Thus during toddler age the babies continue to have soft cartilages which help them to crawl without any pain. This is the reason they doesn’t break their knees although falling all the time. Their knees works like sponges by absorbing the compression and pressure of the fall.

Form the above discussion this answers our question do newborn babies have knee caps to a considerable extent. The main reason on why a confusion arose in the first place is because of the fact that the answer was not clear cut in the first place.


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