Support for weight bearing is provided primarily by the tibia, a bone triangular in cross section that lies subcutaneously in the anterior aspect of the leg. Although it is in harm's way, it has a thick cortex and significant force is required to fracture it. Proximally, the tibia is splayed out to form the medial and lateral plateaus that articulate with the femoral condyles. The lateral plateau is higher and smaller than the medial and is more susceptible to fracture. The distal tibia articulates with the fibula laterally and the talus inferiorly. This articulation is supported by the ankle syndesmosis, a series of ligaments that lie inferior to the interosseous membrane. The fibula lies lateral and posterior to the tibia. Its smaller diameter allows it to be broken with less force than the tibia. Patients can remain ambulatory after a fibula fracture, because it bears little weight. The tibia and fibula are connected by a dense interosseous membrane.
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