Shin Splints Anatomy
To better understand shin splints, it helps to understand the anatomy of the leg.
The entire leg contains four bones:
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 front of the tibia is called the shin. The muscles of the lower leg control movement of the foot and ankle.
Leg anatomy examples:
- Francisco AC, Nightingale RW, Guilak F, Glisson RR, Garrett WE Jr. Comparison of soccer shin guards in preventing tibia fracture. Am J Sports Med. 2000 Mar-Apr;28(2):227-33. 
- Jensen A, Dahl S. Stress fracture of the distal tibia and fibula through heavy lifting. Am J Ind Med. 2005 Feb;47(2):181-3. 
- Thacker SB, Gilchrist J, Stroup DF, Kimsey CD. The prevention of shin splints in sports: a systematic review of literature. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Jan;34(1):32-40. 
- Wilder RP, Sethi S. Overuse injuries: tendinopathies, stress fractures, compartment syndrome, and shin splints. Clin Sports Med. 2004 Jan;23(1):55-81, vi.