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Tibia and fibula

Learning objectives

This study unit will help you to:

  1. Learn how to locate and differentiate the tibia and fibula. 
  2. Name the important landmarks of the tibia and fibula.
  3. Learn about the joints and neurovascular structures related to these two bones.

Watch video

The tibia and fibula are the two long bones of the leg, positioned parallel to each other. The tibia is the second largest bone in the body (after the femur), and the primary weight-bearing bone of the leg. It is positioned medial to the fibula, and it is much thicker in appearance. In contrast, the fibula is a slender bone, located lateral to the tibia. These two bones articulate with each other, making the three following joints:

  1. Superior tibiofibular joint – plane synovial joint
  2. Middle tibiofibular joint – attached by the interosseous membrane
  3. Inferior tibiofibular joint – syndesmosis

Additionally, the tibia and fibula articulate with the talus to form the ankle joint, while only the tibia articulates with the femur and participates in the formation of the knee joint.

This video tutorial will provide you with an overview of the tibia and fibula, as well as the structures and the ligaments of the knee joint.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the videos about the bones and ligaments of the leg, test your knowledge by taking the quiz below.

You now have an opportunity to create your own quiz by choosing your own topics and difficulty levels with our custom quiz on the knee and leg. 

Browse atlas

Check out the anatomical landmarks of the tibia in the gallery below.

Explore the anatomical landmarks of the fibula next!

Finish up by reviewing the articulations between the tibia and the fibula:


Key points about the tibia
Proximal landmarks Lateral condyle, medial condyle, tibial plateau, anterior and posterior intercondylar areas, tubercle of iliotibial tract, tibial tuberosity
Shaft landmarks Three borders (anterior, medial, interosseous); three surfaces (posterior, medial, lateral), soleal line (posterior surface)
Distal landmarks Medial malleolus, fibular notch
Joints Knee joint, ankle joint, superior/proximal tibiofibular joint, middle tibiofibular joint, inferior/distal tibiofibular joint
Key points about the fibula
Proximal landmarks Apex (styloid process), head of the fibula, (with facet to articulate with the lateral tibial condyle), neck
Shaft landmarks Three borders (anterior, medial, posterior); three surfaces (medial, lateral, posterior)
Distal landmarks Lateral malleolus
Joints Ankle joint, superior/proximal tibiofibular joint, middle tibiofibular joint, inferior/distal tibiofibular joint

Well done!

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