Fabella

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 28 Jun 2023

The fabella (plural fabellae 5) is an accessory ossicle that is almost always found in the lateral head of the gastrocnemius although rarely it can occur in the medial head of gastrocnemius 4. It occurs in ~20% (range 10-30%) of the population 1

The fabella can also be fibrocartilaginous in nature and is occasionally found in the medial head of the gastrocnemius. The fabella articulates with its respective (medial or lateral) femoral condyle.

History and etymology

Fabella is Latin for "little bean" 5.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3: typical position on frontal projection
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  • Case 4
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6: fractured fabella
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  • Case 7: in medial head of the gastrocnemius
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  • Case 8: in lateral head of the gastrocnemius
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  • Case 9
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  • Case 10
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