The fibula is a long, thin bone on the outer half of the lower leg. It is situated next to the much larger tibia, or shin bone. The tibia is both slightly longer and quite a bit thicker that the fibula.
The tibia is the weight bearing bone of the lower leg which is why it is so much larger; so where does that leave the fibula?
A while back I wrote about a detective novel that I enjoyed where the protagonist, a medical professional, removes his fibula to use it as a weapon against the bad guys who have him locked in the Coney Island Aquarium. But I digress…
The fibula actually plays an important role as a stabilizer of the ankle. Both the tibia and fibula extend down around the talus bone at their ends to form the ankle.
There isn’t much movement between the tibia and fibula. Our forearm bones—the radius and ulna— can actually rotate and change positions but no such action is available to the fibula and tibia.
The big issue I have with the fibula is how we tend to abuse it the way we walk and stand. Almost everyone I meet and work with tends to bear too much of their weight on the outer foot which in turn relates to the fibula.
The fibula which ends below the knee can’t bear and transfer weight to the rest of the body which means forcing it to bear your weight can ultimately have deleterious consequences.
One of these consequences is very unhappy and oddly developed fibularis (peroneal) muscles that connect the foot to the fibula. Numerous other muscles originate on the fibula, including one of the hamstrings (biceps femoris), the soleus and other foot muscles.