The lower leg is a major anatomical part of the skeletal system. Together with the upper leg, it forms the lower extremity. It lies between the knee and the ankle, while the upper leg lies between the hip and the knee. It contains two major long bones, the tibia and the fibula, which are both very strong skeletal structures. The tibia is the shin bone, while the fibula is the rear calf bone that is significantly smaller. The main muscle that comprises this area of the leg is the gastrocnemius muscle, which gives the calf a bulging appearance. Some nerves of the sacral plexus also innervate this area, namely the superficial fibular nerve, the deep fibular nerve and the tibial nerve. The blood supply is provided by the anterior tibial vein, the posterior tibial vein and the fibular vein. These blood vessels supply oxygen and nutrients to the surrounding structures, which are the bones, muscles and nerves. The lower leg constitutes a major portion of a person's overall mass. It also functions primarily for standing, walking, running, jumping, and other similar motor activities, even the weight-bearing ones. As a result, most fractures occur in this area.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Lower leg