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Skeletal System



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Quick Facts

Location: Leg.

Bone Type: Long bone.

Key Features: Head, neck, body, lateral malleolus, malleolar groove and malleolar fossa.

Articulates With: Tibia, talus.

Arterial Supply: Genicular anastomosis, anterior and posterior tibial arteries, lateral malleolar network.

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Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The fibula sits lateral to the tibia in the leg. It’s classified as a long bone and includes the following bony features:

- parts: head, neck, body, and lateral malleolus;

- surfaces: posterior, medial and lateral surfaces, and anterior, posterior and interosseous borders;

- landmarks: apex of head, medial crest, malleolar groove, and malleolar fossa.

More information regarding these and other bony features can be found in the Parts, Surfaces and Landmarks tabs for this bone.

The fibula is located:

- proximal to the talus;

- distal to the femur;

- lateral to the tibia.

It articulates with the:

- tibia at both the superior and inferior tibiofibular joints;

- talus, contributing to the formation of the ankle joint.


Ossification of the fibula occurs at three ossification centers, these are found in the:

- body, which appears in utero during the second month;

- proximal part, which appears within the third to fourth years;

- distal part, which appears within the first year.

The ossification center for the proximal part of fibula fuses with the body during late adolescence, while the ossification center for the distal part of fibula fuses with the body during middle to late adolescence (Standring, 2016).


In some individuals, several accessory ossicles may be associated with the distal end of the fibula, including the:

- os subfibulare, which is located adjacent to the lateral malleolus;

- os retinacula (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2016).

Surface Anatomy

The following bony features of the fibula are relevant to surface anatomy:

- the head can be palpated along the lateral aspect of the leg at the level of the tibial tuberosity;

- the neck can be palpated distal to the head;

- the distal one quarter of the body is subcutaneous and is easily palpated;

- the lateral malleolus is subcutaneous and is easily palpated.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Fracture of fibula - Free vascularized fibular grafting (FVFG)


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


ScienceDirect image

The fibula is a long, thin bone that lies lateral to the tibia, articulating twice with it and once with the talus.

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