Leg Bones

Of all the bones in the human body, the lower limb bones are specifically designed to withstand the daily pressure of standing in lines, chasing after buses, participating in sports, or walking back home after a long day.

The human body contains 60 lower limb bones, with 30 in each leg. Some of these bones are structured to absorb 2-3 times the body’s total weight in force. The average person takes approximately 5,000 steps per day, which requires the lower limb bones to be durable for continuous use.

All bones from the hip down to the ankles and toes are categorized as lower limb bones. These bones form numerous joints and articulations with each other to maintain flexibility in the lower limb for balance and movement.

Names and Structure of Lower Limb Bones

Lower Limb Bones

Thigh Bone

Each leg has a single bone located between the hip and the knee:

Thigh Bones

  1. Femur (2): The femur, or thigh bone, is the longest and sturdiest bone in the body. At its upper end (femur head), it creates a ball and socket joint with the hip bone. The two condyles at the lower end form the knee joint with the lower leg bones.

Knee Structure

The human knee is a hinge joint with the following bones covering the joint.

  1. Patella/kneecap (2): It is a sesamoid bone that connects with the upper and lower leg bones through muscles and ligaments.

Shin Bones

This area, located between the knee and the ankle, consists of two elongated bones:

Shin Bones

  1. Tibia (2): It is the longer and thicker of the two bones, positioned on the inner side of the lower leg. This weight-bearing bone articulates with the femur at its upper end and the ankle bones at its lower end.
  2. Fibula (2): Positioned on the outer side, it articulates with the tibia but does not directly bear body weight. It serves as an important attachment point for various leg muscles. At its lower end, it articulates with the ankle bones.

Foot Bones

Several small bones in the foot collaborate to distribute the body’s weight during walking, running, dancing, or any movement involving the foot.

1. Tarsals: The group of 7 bones in each foot corresponds to the carpal bones in the hand. These bones enable minor adjustments to the foot position when standing or walking. These are the names of the tarsals:

  1. Calcaneus/heel bone (2)
  2. Talus (2)
  3. Navicular bone (2)
  4. Medial cuneiform bone (2)
  5. Intermediate cuneiform bone (2)
  6. Lateral cuneiform bone (2)
  7. Cuboid bone (2)

2. Metatarsals (10): There are 5 metatarsals in each foot, and like the metacarpals in the hand, the metatarsals form the forefoot.

3. Phalanges of the foot (toe bones): These small bones articulate with the metatarsals and collectively form the toes. There are 14 phalanges in each foot, providing support and enabling various foot movements through flexible toes.

  1. Proximal phalanges (10)
  2. Middle phalanges (8)
  3. Distal phalanges (10)

Common Questions

Q. What are the primary lower limb bones?

Ans. The femur, tibia, and fibula are the three principal bones in the human leg.

Q. Do individuals of African descent possess an additional lower limb bone?

Ans. No, individuals of African descent do not have any extra bone or muscle in their lower limbs. However, studies have indicated that they have greater bone mineral density and superior body protein content compared to individuals of Caucasian descent. Consequently, they tend to have greater fat-free body mass.


    1. Foot and Leg Bone Anatomy – Study.com
    2. Bones of the Leg and Foot – Innerbody.com
    3. Bones in the Leg – Joionline.net
    4. Leg skeletal anatomy – Medlineplus.gov
    5. Leg Bones Anatomy, Diagram, and Function – Healthline.com
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