Chapter 7
The Skeleton
239
7
the
tibiofibular joints
(tib
0
e-o-fib
9
u-lar) of the leg allow essentially
no movement. Te bones of the leg thus form a less flexible but
stronger and more stable limb than those of the forearm. Te me-
dial tibia articulates proximally with the femur to form the modi-
fied hinge joint of the knee and distally with the talus bone of the
foot at the ankle. Te fibula, by contrast, does not contribute to the
knee joint and merely helps stabilize the ankle joint.
Tibia
Te
tibia
(tib
9
e-ah; “shinbone”) receives the weight of the
body from the femur and transmits it to the foot. It is second
only to the femur in size and strength. At its broad proximal
end are the concave
medial
and
lateral condyles
, which look
intercondylar fossa
, and superior to that on the shaF is the
smooth
popliteal surface
.
Te
patella
(“small pan”) is a triangular sesamoid bone en-
closed in the (quadriceps) tendon that secures the anterior thigh
muscles to the tibia. It protects the knee joint anteriorly and im-
proves the leverage of the thigh muscles acting across the knee.
Leg
±wo parallel bones, the tibia and fibula, form the skeleton of the
leg, the region of the lower limb between the knee and the ankle
(Figure 7.33)
. Tese two bones are connected by an
interosseous
membrane
and articulate with each other both proximally and dis-
tally. Unlike the joints between the radius and ulna of the forearm,
Neck
Fovea
capitis
Greater
trochanter
Inter-
trochanteric
crest
Lateral
condyle
Lateral
epicondyle
Head
Intertrochanteric
line
Lesser trochanter
Gluteal tuberosity
Linea aspera
Intercondylar fossa
Popliteal surface
Medial and
lateral supra-
condylar lines
Medial condyle
Medial
epicondyle
Adductor tubercle
Anterior view
Posterior view
(b) Femur (thigh bone)
Lateral
epicondyle
Patellar
surface
Posterior
Facet for
medial
condyle
of femur
Facet for lateral
condyle of femur
Surface for
patellar
ligament
Apex
Anterior
(a) Patella (kneecap)
Figure 7.32
Bones of the right knee and thigh.
(For a related image, see
A Brief Atlas of
the Human Body
, Figure 29.)
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