The tibia and the fibula make up the bones of the lower leg. The tibia is a large bone that supports the weight of the body. Its lower end forms the entire ankle bone in the horse and ox, but only the inner ankle bone in dogs, cats, pigs, and primates, where the fibula reaches the ankle on the outside. The inner surface of the entire tibia is subcutaneous. The bony prominence at its upper end, to which the patellar ligament is attached, is called the tibial tuberosity. The front edge of the upper portion of the tibia rises into a subcutaneous ridge, called the tibial crest, or shin.
Two bumps may be seen on the surface on the front of the knee, especially when the knee is flexed. They are always the same distance apart, are formed by the patella above and the tibial tuberosity below, and are connected by the patellar ligament. The tibial tuberosity is continued downward into the tibial crest.
The full fibula is a slender bone that lies on the outside of the tibia. Its expanded upper end, the head, is an important bony landmark and does not articulate with the femur at the knee joint. Its lower end reaches all the way down to the ankle joint and forms the expanded outer ankle bone in dogs, cats, pigs, and primates. In the horse, the
WALKS ON TIPTOE
WALKS ON TOES
fibula doesn't reach the ankle but rather tapers to a point halfway down the lower leg. In the ox, only the upper and lower ends of the fibula are present. At the upper end, the head and a very short length of the shaft are fused to the outside of the tibia. The small lower end is fused to the underside of the outer portion of the tibia. These two fibular extremities are connected by a fibrous cord, which is a remnant of the missing shaft of the fibula.
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