Anatomy/Bones of the Lower Limb

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Relevant Anatomical Terminology[edit | edit source]

The lower limb is commonly know as the leg, however in anatomy the term 'leg' only applies to the portion of the lower limb inferior to the knee joint and superior to the ankle joint. The portion of the lower limb superior to the knee joint and inferior to the hip joint is known as the thigh. The portion of lower limb inferior to ankle joint is known as foot.

Bones of the Thigh[edit | edit source]

The thigh contains the femur, the largest of the long bones in the human body. Superiorly it articulates with the pelvis at the hip joint and inferiorly with the patella and tibia.

Bones of the Leg[edit | edit source]

The bones of the lower leg include the patella, the tibia and fibula. The patella is a sesamoid bone which is attached to the quadraceps muscle, via the quadraceps tendon, and the tibia via the patellar tendon. The tibia is the main weight bearing bone of the leg, it articulates superiorly at the knee joint with the femur and inferiorly, at the ankle joint, it articulates with the talus bone of the foot. The fibula is lateral to and markedly smaller than the tibia. Anteriorly it articulates with the tibia just inferior to the knee joint and inferiorly it articulates with the talus bone of the foot.

Bones of the foot[edit | edit source]

There are three groups of bones in foot.

  1. Tarsals,
  2. Metatarsals, and
  3. Phalanges.
  • Tarsal bones are arranged in three groups
  1. Proximal group consists of Talus and Calcaneus
  2. Intermediate group consists of Navicular and
  3. Distal group consists of (lateral→medial) cuboid ,lateral cuneiform ,intermediate cuneiform and medial cuneiform
  • Metatarsals are 5 in number.They are numbered from I to V ( from medial to lateral).First metatarsal is the shortest and thickest among them and it is associated with great toe.The longest metatarsal is the second metatarsal.
  • Phalanges . phalanges are bones of toes. Except the great toe, all other toes have 3 phalanges each and they are
  1. proximal phalanx
  2. middle phalanx
  3. distal phalanx

But the great toe has two phalanges only. They are

  1. Proximal phalanx
  2. Distal phalanx