Fibula head, fibular head, lateral malleolus, malleolus lateralis, head fibulae

Medical: Fibula

English: fibular


The fibula and the shinbone / tibia form the two bones of the lower leg.
Both bones are connected by fibers (membrana interossea cruris).
The fibula lies on the outside of the lower leg. The head of the fibula can be felt on the outside directly below the knee joint. However, it is not involved in the formation of the knee joint.

Anatomically, the fibula can be divided into three sections structure. The head forms the upper end and rests with its joint surface on the adjacent shin. The Calf community has three sharp edges in its course, which serve as muscle roots and delimit the three sides of the bone. At the lower end, the fibula runs into the so-called. Lateral malleolus that forms the outer ankle. It is visible from the outside and forms part of the ankle joint with the medial malleolus of the tibia.

With the tibia, the head of the fibula forms the tibia-fibula joint (fibulo-tibial joint).
The bone tapers towards the shaft and widens again towards the outer malleolus (malleolus lateralis). The outer malleolus of the fibula forms with the inner malleolus of the tibia the upper ankle. In the ankle area, the fibula and tibia are strongly connected to one another by a special fiber connection (syndesmosis).


Almost all of the power transmission of the Thigh on the foot takes place over the shinbone (tibia).

The fibula is only indirectly connected to the head of the fibula (fibular head) Knee joint involved with the tibia and fibula joint.

The fibula has a more important function at the upper ankle. The outer malleolus of the fibula forms the outer part of the upper one Ankle.

Figure fibula

Right lower leg with fibula from the front
  1. Calf community -
    Corpus fibulae
  2. Shin community - Corpus tibiae
  3. Thigh shaft -
    Corpus femoris
  4. Tibia-fibula joint -
    Articulatio tibiofibularis
  5. Fibula head - Head fibulae
  6. Interbone membrane of the
    Lower leg -
    Membrana interossea cruris
  7. Shin and fibula tape adhesive -
    Syndesmosis tibiofibularis
  8. Fibula bone -
    Lateral malleolus
  9. Shin bones -
    Medial malleolus
  10. Kneecap - patella

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

Function of the fibula head

The fibula head has two main functions. On the one hand, it has articular cartilage on part of its surface, via which it communicates with the neighboring one Shin connected is. This connection is used for Force distribution on occurrence, from the upper ankle joint, in which the fibula is involved, over the shin, down to the strong one Thighbones. On the other hand, the fibula head serves as a Attachment point of various ligaments of the knee joint and thus contributes to that lateral stabilization at.

Fibula muscles

The fibula muscles consist of three muscles, the long (M. fibularis longus), dem short (M. fibularis brevis) and the so-called third fibula muscle (M. fibularis tertius).

The long fibula muscle has its origin at the fibula head. From there it pulls along the outside of the lower leg. A little above the lateral malleolus, the muscle ends in a long tendon. This runs behind the lower end of the fibula and from there transversely under the Arch of the footmaking them this stabilized. On the metatarsal bone of the big toe and the sphenoid bone of the Tarsus the tendon finally attaches.

The short fibula muscle has its origin in the lower third of the calf community and attaches its tendon to the metatarsal bone of the fifth toe. Both muscles serve that Extending the foot downward (Plantar flexion), as well as the Tilting inwards (Pronation).

The third fibula muscle is actually not an independent muscle, but one Splitting off of the long toe extensor (M. extensor digitorum longus). It pulls in the lower third of the lower leg from the front of the fibula to the metatarsal bone of the fifth toe and supports it Pulling up the foot (Dorsiflexion) and that Tilting inwards (Pronation).

Right ankle x-ray

(taken from the front):

  1. Fibula (Fibula)
  2. Shin (Tibia)
  3. Ankle bone (Talus)
  4. Syndesmosis

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Fibula pain

Fibula pain can have various causes. Fibula fracture is one of the main reasons.

Other sources of pain can be the fibula muscles and the fibular nerve (common fibular nerve). The latter is one of the two main branches of the sciatic nerve. It runs along the outside of the knee along the head of the fibula, where it is very prone to irritation and inflammation due to its close proximity to the bone. This is usually expressed in pain directly above the head of the fibula, which radiates downwards, as well as abnormal sensations, e.g. tingling, in the lower leg.

The therapy usually takes place with pain relievers and drugs against the inflammation. If the pain comes from the fibula muscles, tension is usually the reason.These often arise from poor posture of the legs, e.g. knock knees. The tension can usually be felt from the outside as a clear hardening of the muscles. Physiotherapeutic exercises and massages to relax the muscles as well as training to improve posture and eliminate deformities are recommended as further therapy.

Read more on the topic: Fibula pain

Fibula fracture

The fibula is quite a thin bone and therefore relative at risk of fracture. Still are isolated fibula fractures, in which only the fibula is affected, rather seldom. They arise as a result of a so-called direct impact traumae.g. a kick on the side leg while playing football, or as a fatigue break from running in the wrong foot position.

Much more common are lower leg fractures, those next to the fibula also the shin is broken, as well as injuries to the upper ankle joint with involvement of the fibula.

The symptoms of a fibula fracture usually consist of one swelling over the break, as well Pain when touched and moved. Depending on the severity of the fracture, there may also be visible and palpable malpositions of the bone or open fractures.

Diagnosis is usually carried out by means of X-ray image. If possible, the image is taken from two directions in order to be able to assess the exact localization and course of the fracture.

In the case of isolated fibula fractures, one is usually sufficient Immobilization of the leg in a bandage or a lower leg cast for 4-6 weeks to treat the fracture. In the case of more complicated fractures, however, a OP necessary, in which the bone parts are fixed with screws or plates and can heal during a subsequent immobilization in a plaster cast.

X-ray right knee joint

(taken from the front):

  1. Thigh bone (femur)
  2. Fibular head (fibular head)
  3. Femoral condyle
  4. Shinbone (tibia)