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The Anatomy of the Tibia & Fibula

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

The Tibia & Fibula are the bones of the leg. This can sometimes be confusing as most individuals think that the leg is from the hips to the foot. If we are being anatomically correct, the leg is from the knee to the ankle.

The weight bearing bone in the leg is the tibia, meaning that the tibia is what takes the heat of your body weight and the fibula is … well it’s just there. Because the fibula is non-weight bearing you can break the fibula and technically still walk around and have relatively no pain. However, if you were to dislocate it pain can be present. Trust me it’s not very fun! I fractured my fibula in 4 places, dislocated the distal tibiofibular joint, and tore some ligaments on top of it.

There are three articulation points within the tibia and fibula. This is in reference to the fibula meeting with the tibia:

1. The Proximal Tibiofibular Joint - the head of the fibula meets with the lateral condyle of the tibia.

2. The Distal Tibiofibular Joint - where the distal end of the fibula meets with the fibular notch of the tibia.

3. The Talocrural Joint - where the tibia and fibula meet with the talus of the foot.

But which side does the tibia and fibula sit on? One way to remember the placement (medial and lateral) of these two bones is a simple little saying.

The tibia tells a little fib.

Let’s read into this a bit more…

“The tibia tells a little fib.” The fib(ula) is little compared to the tibia.

“The tibia tells a Little fib.” The fibula is Lateral to the tibia and the L in little stands for the lateral as well as the little.

Now that we got that out of the way, here are resources for the structures of the tibia and fibula:

Don’t forget to look at the YouTube video and to share!

Anterior Tibia

1. Lateral Condyle

2. Medial Condyle

3. Tibial Tuberosity

4. Anterior Tibial Crest

5. Medial Malleolus

6. Fibular notch

Anterior Fibula

7. Proximal (or head) End

8. Lateral Malleolus

9. Malleolar Fossa

Posterior Tibia & Fibula

1. Intercondylar Eminence

2. Head (the “tables” of the tibia)

3a. Lateral Condyle

3b. Medial Condyle

4. Proximal End/Head of Fibula

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