This study aims to determine the development and morphology of the patella and patellar tendon and to obtain morphometric data about these structures during the fetal period. One hundred five human fetuses (55 males and 50 females) aged 9-40 weeks were used in this study. Fetuses were divided into four groups between gestational weeks; Group I (9-12 weeks), Group II (13-25 weeks), Group III (26-37 weeks), and Group IV (38-40 weeks). The patella and patellar ligament were exposed via anatomical dissection; the dimensions (length, width, thickness) and the width of the lateral and medial articular surfaces of the patella, and the length and width of the patellar ligament, were measured using a Vernier's caliper. No significant differences were observed between genders or sides for any of the parameters (P > 0.05), and a significant correlation was found between gestational age and all parameters (P < 0.001). All parameters of the patella and patellar ligament were found to be different statistically between trimesters (P < 0.05). This study reveals the development, morphological changes, and the morphometric measurements of the patella and patellar ligament during the fetal period. We hope that the present results can be useful for future studies. Clin. Anat. 24:225-231, 2011. (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.