Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children using a cane using a walker using crutches warning signs Underlying Cause Anatomy

Painful Leg (one leg) Anatomy

To better understand leg pain, it helps to understand the anatomy of the leg.

The entire leg contains four bones:

  • Femur:
    • The thighbone
  • Patella:
    • The kneecap
  • Tibia:
    • A thick bone in the front of the lower leg
  • Fibula:
    • A thin bone on the side of the lower leg

The thigh contains the largest bone in the body, called the femur. The femur begins at the hip and ends at the knee. The muscles of the thigh control movement of the knee and hip. The patella, or kneecap, protects the front of the knee.

The lower leg contains two long bones, called the tibia and fibula. The muscles of the lower leg control movement of the foot and ankle.

Leg anatomy examples:
  • Muscles and bones of the leg
  • Muscles of the buttock and thigh
  • Regions of the lower leg where tenderness may be a sign of a fracture
  • Internal structures of the knee

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Painful Leg (one leg) References
  1. Creamer P. Current perspectives on the clinical presentation of joint pain in human OA. Novartis Found Symp. 2004;260:64-74. [15283444]
  2. Hester JT. Diagnostic approach to chronic exercise-induced leg pain. A review. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2001 Apr;18(2):285-306. [11417156]
  3. Palmer T, Toombs JD. Managing joint pain in primary care. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2004 Nov-Dec;17 Suppl:S32-42. [15575028]
  4. Turnipseed WD. Clinical review of patients treated for atypical claudication: a 28-year experience. J Vasc Surg. 2004 Jul;40(1):79-85. [15218466]
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