This article by Jeff Akst talks about the comeback of the tiny bone behind the knee. The name of the bone is fabella. The fabella is a small bone in a tendon behind the knee. This bone disappeared from the human anatomy millions of years ago (Akst). Hwever, according to research carried out over the last decade, results have shown the presence of the fabella is some individuals. According to the article, the research included data from over 21,000 studies that showed a three times increase in the people found to have this bone to 39% by 2018. The data was collected using x-rays, dissections and MRIs. Michael Berthaumes, a scientist behind this research, attributes several factors to the comeback of the fabella. He says that, the average human of today is better nourished, thus, translating to being taller and heavier.
These factors increase the pressure on the knee. The knee then responds by developing the fabella that helps in pressure distribution in the knee. Berthaumes also attributes the development of the fabella to genetics, thus, saying that some people are more likely to develop the bone as compared to others (Akst). The development of the bone is also attributed to environmental factors that surround an individual. The fabella has been linked to a number of ailments such as knee pain and osteoarthritis. The presence of the bone may cause pain to the individual and create additional challenges in knee replacement surgeries. Nevertheless, the presence of the knee has also been linked to some advantages. Some of these are, the bone helps in reducing friction on the tendons, redirects muscle forces, and increases mechanical forces of the knee muscles (Akst).
I chose this article because it covers an issue that affects a significant amount of the population in the world. Knee complications are common. Physicians are unable to tell the cause of the pain in the knee joint for some of these cases. I chose this article since it provides another dimension for the physicians to look at and raises a research question of why the fabella is developing millions of years later. This article touches on the anatomy and the mechanics of the knee. The article talks about the damage the bones of knee joint suffer from increased mechanical pressure. The damage may create movement difficulties for an individual (Akst). The importance of this research is that it will guide most physicians in determining the source of pain in a patient who presents with knee problems. The physician is able to offer treatment and therapy sessions that are suitable for a patient the fabella bone.
Additionally, prior knowledge of the patient’s fabella bone helps reduce the complications and difficulties that might arise during a knee replacement surgery. The orthopedic surgeon can plan the procedure prior and include all considerations of the fabella bone. From this article, I have gathered the information about the comeback of the fabella after years of being non-existent. Similarly, I have learnt about potential benefit and harm the development of the fabella may result to. The fabella may reduce the friction on tendons and redirect muscle forces. Nevertheless, in equal measure, the fabella could result to several knee problems mainly pain at the knee joint. In essence, the information provided by the article is important in helping achieve health goals and quality life. The information is vital to both physicians and patients since it helps in understanding the anatomical changes that arise due to the development of the fabella.
- Akst, Jeff. “Tiny Knee Bone, Once Lost in Humans, Is Making a Comeback.” The Scientist Magazine, 19 Apr. 2019, www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/tiny-knee-bone–once-lost-in-humans–is-making-a-comeback-65764 . Accessed 30 Apr. 2019.