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This article is about the human leg bone. Tibia_sentence_0

For other uses, see Tibia (disambiguation). Tibia_sentence_1


ArticulationsTibia_header_cell_0_2_0 Knee, ankle, superior and

inferior tibiofibular jointTibia_cell_0_2_1

LatinTibia_header_cell_0_4_0 (os) tibiaTibia_cell_0_4_1
MeSHTibia_header_cell_0_5_0 Tibia_cell_0_5_1
TA98Tibia_header_cell_0_6_0 Tibia_cell_0_6_1
TA2Tibia_header_cell_0_7_0 Tibia_cell_0_7_1
FMATibia_header_cell_0_8_0 Tibia_cell_0_8_1

The tibia /ˈtɪbiə/ (plural tibiae /ˈtɪbii/ or tibias), also known as the shinbone or shankbone, is the larger, stronger, and anterior (frontal) of the two bones in the leg below the knee in vertebrates (the other being the fibula, behind and to the outside of the tibia), and it connects the knee with the ankle bones. Tibia_sentence_2

The tibia is found on the medial side of the leg next to the fibula and closer to the median plane or centre-line. Tibia_sentence_3

The tibia is connected to the fibula by the interosseous membrane of the leg, forming a type of fibrous joint called a syndesmosis with very little movement. Tibia_sentence_4

The tibia is named for the flute tibia. Tibia_sentence_5

It is the second largest bone in the human body next to the femur. Tibia_sentence_6

The leg bones are the strongest long bones as they support the rest of the body. Tibia_sentence_7

Structure Tibia_section_0

In human anatomy, the tibia is the second largest bone next to the femur. Tibia_sentence_8

As in other vertebrates the tibia is one of two bones in the lower leg, the other being the fibula, and is a component of the knee and ankle joints. Tibia_sentence_9

The ossification or formation of the bone starts from three centers; one in the shaft and one in each extremity. Tibia_sentence_10

The tibia is categorized as a long bone and is as such composed of a diaphysis and two epiphyses. Tibia_sentence_11

The diaphysis is the midsection of the tibia, also known as the shaft or body. Tibia_sentence_12

While the epiphyses are the two rounded extremities of the bone; an upper (also known as superior or proximal) closest to the thigh and a lower (also known as inferior or distal) closest to the foot. Tibia_sentence_13

The tibia is most contracted in the lower third and the distal extremity is smaller than the proximal. Tibia_sentence_14

Upper extremity Tibia_section_1

The proximal or upper extremity of the tibia is expanded in the transverse plane with a medial and lateral condyle, which are both flattened in the horizontal plane. Tibia_sentence_15

The medial condyle is the larger of the two and is better supported over the shaft. Tibia_sentence_16

The upper surfaces of the condyles articulate with the femur to form the tibiofemoral joint, the weightbearing part of the kneejoint. Tibia_sentence_17

The medial and lateral condyle are separated by the intercondylar area, where the cruciate ligaments and the menisci attach. Tibia_sentence_18

Here the medial and lateral intercondylar tubercle forms the intercondylar eminence. Tibia_sentence_19

Together with the medial and lateral condyle the intercondylar region forms the tibial plateau, which both articulates with and is anchored to the lower extremity of the femur. Tibia_sentence_20

The intercondylar eminence divides the intercondylar area into an anterior and posterior part. Tibia_sentence_21

The anterolateral region of the anterior intercondylar area are perforated by numerous small openings for nutrient arteries. Tibia_sentence_22

The articular surfaces of both condyles are concave, particularly centrally. Tibia_sentence_23

The flatter outer margins are in contact with the menisci. Tibia_sentence_24

The medial condyles superior surface is oval in form and extends laterally onto the side of medial intercondylar tubercle. Tibia_sentence_25

The lateral condyles superior surface is more circular in form and its medial edge extends onto the side of the lateral intercondylar tubercle. Tibia_sentence_26

The posterior surface of the medial condyle bears a horizontal groove for part of the attachment of the semimembranosus muscle, whereas the lateral condyle has a circular facet for articulation with the head of the fibula. Tibia_sentence_27

Beneath the condyles is the tibial tuberosity which serves for attachment of the patellar ligament, a continuation of the quadriceps femoris muscle. Tibia_sentence_28

Facets Tibia_section_2

The superior articular surface presents two smooth articular facets. Tibia_sentence_29


  • The medial facet, oval in shape, is slightly concave from side to side, and from before backward.Tibia_item_0_0
  • The lateral, nearly circular, is concave from side to side, but slightly convex from before backward, especially at its posterior part, where it is prolonged on to the posterior surface for a short distance.Tibia_item_0_1

The central portions of these facets articulate with the condyles of the femur, while their peripheral portions support the menisci of the knee joint, which here intervene between the two bones. Tibia_sentence_30

Intercondyloid eminence Tibia_section_3

Between the articular facets in the intercondylar area, but nearer the posterior than the anterior aspect of the bone, is the intercondyloid eminence (spine of tibia), surmounted on either side by a prominent tubercle, on to the sides of which the articular facets are prolonged; in front of and behind the intercondyloid eminence are rough depressions for the attachment of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and the menisci. Tibia_sentence_31

Surfaces Tibia_section_4

The anterior surfaces of the condyles are continuous with one another, forming a large somewhat flattened area; this area is triangular, broad above, and perforated by large vascular foramina; narrow below where it ends in a large oblong elevation, the tuberosity of the tibia, which gives attachment to the patellar ligament; a bursa intervenes between the deep surface of the ligament and the part of the bone immediately above the tuberosity. Tibia_sentence_32

Posteriorly, the condyles are separated from each other by a shallow depression, the posterior intercondyloid fossa, which gives attachment to part of the posterior cruciate ligament of the knee-joint. Tibia_sentence_33

The medial condyle presents posteriorly a deep transverse groove, for the insertion of the tendon of the semimembranosus. Tibia_sentence_34

Its medial surface is convex, rough, and prominent; it gives attachment to the medial collateral ligament. Tibia_sentence_35

The lateral condyle presents posteriorly a flat articular facet, nearly circular in form, directed downward, backward, and lateralward, for articulation with the head of the fibula. Tibia_sentence_36

Its lateral surface is convex, rough, and prominent in front: on it is an eminence, situated on a level with the upper border of the tuberosity and at the junction of its anterior and lateral surfaces, for the attachment of the iliotibial band. Tibia_sentence_37

Just below this a part of the extensor digitorum longus takes origin and a slip from the tendon of the biceps femoris is inserted. Tibia_sentence_38

Shaft Tibia_section_5

The shaft or body of the tibia is triangular in cross-section and forms three borders: An anterior, medial and lateral or interosseous border. Tibia_sentence_39

These three borders form three surfaces; the medial, lateral and posterior. Tibia_sentence_40

The forward flat part of the tibia is called the fibia, often confused with the fibula. Tibia_sentence_41

Borders Tibia_section_6

The anterior crest or border, the most prominent of the three, commences above at the tuberosity, and ends below at the anterior margin of the medial malleolus. Tibia_sentence_42

It is sinuous and prominent in the upper two-thirds of its extent, but smooth and rounded below; it gives attachment to the deep fascia of the leg. Tibia_sentence_43

The medial border is smooth and rounded above and below, but more prominent in the center; it begins at the back part of the medial condyle, and ends at the posterior border of the medial malleolus; its upper part gives attachment to the tibial collateral ligament of the knee-joint to the extent of about 5 cm., and insertion to some fibers of the popliteus muscle; from its middle third some fibers of the soleus and flexor digitorum longus muscles take origin. Tibia_sentence_44

The interosseous crest or lateral border is thin and prominent, especially its central part, and gives attachment to the interosseous membrane; it commences above in front of the fibular articular facet, and bifurcates below, to form the boundaries of a triangular rough surface, for the attachment of the interosseous ligament connecting the tibia and fibula. Tibia_sentence_45

Surfaces Tibia_section_7

The medial surface is smooth, convex, and broader above than below; its upper third, directed forward and medialward, is covered by the aponeurosis derived from the tendon of the sartorius, and by the tendons of the Gracilis and Semitendinosus, all of which are inserted nearly as far forward as the anterior crest; in the rest of its extent it is subcutaneous. Tibia_sentence_46

The lateral surface is narrower than the medial; its upper two-thirds present a shallow groove for the origin of the Tibialis anterior; its lower third is smooth, convex, curves gradually forward to the anterior aspect of the bone, and is covered by the tendons of the Tibialis anterior, Extensor hallucis longus, and Extensor digitorum longus, arranged in this order from the medial side. Tibia_sentence_47

The posterior surface presents, at its upper part, a prominent ridge, the popliteal line, which extends obliquely downward from the back part of the articular facet for the fibula to the medial border, at the junction of its upper and middle thirds; it marks the lower limit of the insertion of the Popliteus, serves for the attachment of the fascia covering this muscle, and gives origin to part of the Soleus, Flexor digitorum longus, and Tibialis posterior. Tibia_sentence_48

The triangular area, above this line, gives insertion to the Popliteus. Tibia_sentence_49

The middle third of the posterior surface is divided by a vertical ridge into two parts; the ridge begins at the popliteal line and is well-marked above, but indistinct below; the medial and broader portion gives origin to the Flexor digitorum longus, the lateral and narrower to part of the Tibialis posterior. Tibia_sentence_50

The remaining part of the posterior surface is smooth and covered by the Tibialis posterior, Flexor digitorum longus, and Flexor hallucis longus. Tibia_sentence_51

Immediately below the popliteal line is the nutrient foramen, which is large and directed obliquely downward. Tibia_sentence_52

Lower extremity Tibia_section_8

The distal end of the tibia is much smaller than the proximal end and presents five surfaces; it is prolonged downward on its medial side as a strong pyramidal process, the medial malleolus. Tibia_sentence_53

The lower extremity of the tibia together with the fibula and talus forms the ankle joint. Tibia_sentence_54

Surfaces Tibia_section_9

The inferior articular surface is quadrilateral, and smooth for articulation with the talus. Tibia_sentence_55

It is concave from before backward, broader in front than behind, and traversed from before backward by a slight elevation, separating two depressions. Tibia_sentence_56

It is continuous with that on the medial malleolus. Tibia_sentence_57

The anterior surface of the lower extremity is smooth and rounded above, and covered by the tendons of the Extensor muscles; its lower margin presents a rough transverse depression for the attachment of the articular capsule of the ankle-joint. Tibia_sentence_58

The posterior surface is traversed by a shallow groove directed obliquely downward and medialward, continuous with a similar groove on the posterior surface of the talus and serving for the passage of the tendon of the Flexor hallucis longus. Tibia_sentence_59

The lateral surface presents a triangular rough depression for the attachment of the inferior interosseous ligament connecting it with the fibula; the lower part of this depression is smooth, covered with cartilage in the fresh state, and articulates with the fibula. Tibia_sentence_60

The surface is bounded by two prominent borders (the anterior and posterior colliculi), continuous above with the interosseous crest; they afford attachment to the anterior and posterior ligaments of the lateral malleolus. Tibia_sentence_61

The medial surface -- see medial malleolus for details. Tibia_sentence_62

Fractures Tibia_section_10

Ankle fractures of the tibia have several classification systems based on location or mechanism: Tibia_sentence_63


Blood supply Tibia_section_11

The tibia is supplied with blood from two sources: A nutrient artery, as the main source, and periosteal vessels derived from the anterior tibial artery. Tibia_sentence_64

Joints Tibia_section_12

The tibia is a part of four joints; the knee, ankle, superior and inferior tibiofibular joint. Tibia_sentence_65

In the knee the tibia forms one of the two articulations with the femur, often referred to as the tibiofemoral components of the knee joint. Tibia_sentence_66

This is the weightbearing part of the knee joint. Tibia_sentence_67

The tibiofibular joints are the articulations between the tibia and fibula which allows very little movement. Tibia_sentence_68

The proximal tibiofibular joint is a small plane joint. Tibia_sentence_69

The joint is formed between the undersurface of the lateral tibial condyle and the head of fibula. Tibia_sentence_70

The joint capsule is reinforced by anterior and posterior ligament of the head of the fibula. Tibia_sentence_71

The distal tibiofibular joint (tibiofibular syndesmosis) is formed by the rough, convex surface of the medial side of the distal end of the fibula, and a rough concave surface on the lateral side of the tibia. Tibia_sentence_72

The part of the ankle joint known as the talocrural joint, is a synovial hinge joint that connects the distal ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower limb with the proximal end of the talus. Tibia_sentence_73

The articulation between the tibia and the talus bears more weight than between the smaller fibula and the talus. Tibia_sentence_74

Development Tibia_section_13

The tibia is ossified from three centers; a primary center for the diaphysis (shaft) and a secondary center for each epiphysis (extremity). Tibia_sentence_75

Ossification begins in the center of the body, about the seventh week of fetal life, and gradually extends toward the extremities. Tibia_sentence_76

The center for the upper epiphysis appears before or shortly after birth at close to 34 weeks gestation; it is flattened in form, and has a thin tongue-shaped process in front, which forms the tuberosity; that for the lower epiphysis appears in the second year. Tibia_sentence_77

The lower epiphysis fuses with the tibial shaft at about the eighteenth, and the upper one fuses about the twentieth year. Tibia_sentence_78

Two additional centers occasionally exist, one for the tongue-shaped process of the upper epiphysis, which forms the tuberosity, and one for the medial malleolus. Tibia_sentence_79

Function Tibia_section_14

Muscle attachments Tibia_section_15


MuscleTibia_cell_1_0_0 DirectionTibia_cell_1_0_1 AttachmentTibia_cell_1_0_2
Tensor fasciae latae muscleTibia_cell_1_1_0 InsertionTibia_cell_1_1_1 Gerdy's tubercleTibia_cell_1_1_2
Quadriceps femoris muscleTibia_cell_1_2_0 InsertionTibia_cell_1_2_1 Tuberosity of the tibiaTibia_cell_1_2_2
Sartorius muscleTibia_cell_1_3_0 InsertionTibia_cell_1_3_1 Pes anserinusTibia_cell_1_3_2
Gracilis muscleTibia_cell_1_4_0 InsertionTibia_cell_1_4_1 Pes anserinusTibia_cell_1_4_2
Semitendinosus muscleTibia_cell_1_5_0 InsertionTibia_cell_1_5_1 Pes anserinusTibia_cell_1_5_2
Horizontal head of the semimembranosus muscleTibia_cell_1_6_0 InsertionTibia_cell_1_6_1 Medial condyleTibia_cell_1_6_2
Popliteus muscleTibia_cell_1_7_0 InsertionTibia_cell_1_7_1 Posterior side of the tibia over the soleal lineTibia_cell_1_7_2
Tibialis anterior muscleTibia_cell_1_8_0 OriginTibia_cell_1_8_1 Lateral side of the tibiaTibia_cell_1_8_2
Extensor digitorum longus muscleTibia_cell_1_9_0 OriginTibia_cell_1_9_1 Lateral condyleTibia_cell_1_9_2
Soleus muscleTibia_cell_1_10_0 OriginTibia_cell_1_10_1 Posterior side of the tibia under the soleal lineTibia_cell_1_10_2
Flexor digitorum longus muscleTibia_cell_1_11_0 OriginTibia_cell_1_11_1 Posterior side of the tibia under the soleal lineTibia_cell_1_11_2

Strength Tibia_section_16

The tibia has been modeled as taking an axial force during walking that is up to 4.7 bodyweight. Tibia_sentence_80

Its bending moment in the sagittal plane in the late stance phase is up to 71.6 bodyweight times millimetre. Tibia_sentence_81

Clinical significance Tibia_section_17

Fracture Tibia_section_18

Fractures of the tibia can be divided into those that only involve the tibia; bumper fracture, Segond fracture, Gosselin fracture, toddler's fracture, and those including both the tibia and fibula; trimalleolar fracture, bimalleolar fracture, Pott's fracture. Tibia_sentence_82

Society and culture Tibia_section_19

In Judaism, the tibia, or shankbone, of a goat is used in the Passover Seder plate. Tibia_sentence_83

Other animals Tibia_section_20

The structure of the tibia in most other tetrapods is essentially similar to that in humans. Tibia_sentence_84

The tuberosity of the tibia, a crest to which the patellar ligament attaches in mammals, is instead the point for the tendon of the quadriceps muscle in reptiles, birds, and amphibians, which have no patella. Tibia_sentence_85

Additional images Tibia_section_21


  • Tibia_item_2_5
  • Tibia_item_2_6
  • Tibia_item_2_7
  • Tibia_item_2_8
  • Tibia_item_2_9
  • Tibia_item_2_10
  • Tibia_item_2_11
  • Tibia_item_2_12
  • Tibia_item_2_13
  • Tibia_item_2_14
  • Tibia_item_2_15
  • Tibia_item_2_16
  • Tibia_item_2_17
  • Tibia_item_2_18
  • Tibia_item_2_19
  • Tibia_item_2_20
  • Tibia_item_2_21
  • Tibia_item_2_22

See also Tibia_section_22

This article uses anatomical terminology. Tibia_sentence_86


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibia.