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Human leg

  In common usage, a human leg is the lower limb of the body, extending from the hip to the ankle, and including the thigh, the knee, and the cnemis.[1] The largest bone in the human body, the femur, is in the leg.

In human anatomical terms, the leg is the part of the lower limb[2] that lies between the knee and the ankle.[3][4] This article generally follows the common usage.

The leg from the knee to the ankle is called the cnemis (nee'mis) or crus[5]. The calf is the back portion and the shin is the front.

Legs are often used metaphorically in many cultures to indicate either strength or mobility. The supporting columns of an object may be referred to as legs as well, as in chair legs.


Function and cultural aspects

Legs are often used for standing, walking, jumping, running, kicking, and similar activities, and are a significant portion of a person's mass.

Adolescent and adult females in many Western cultures often remove the hair from their legs. Toned, tanned, shaved legs are sometimes perceived as a sign of youthfulness and are often considered attractive in these cultures.



Long bones of the lower limb

  • Femur (thigh bone)
  • Patella (kneecap)
  • Tibia (shin bone)
  • Fibula (calf bone)

Muscles of the human lower limb

Muscles of the thigh

Anterior compartment of the thigh

  • Quadriceps femoris, which is composed of:
    • Vastus lateralis
    • Vastus medialis
    • Vastus intermedius
    • Rectus femoris
  • Sartorius
  • Tensor fascia lata

Medial compartment of the thigh

Posterior compartment of the thigh

Muscles of the cnemis

  • Popliteus

The anterior compartment

  • Tibialis anterior
  • Extensor digitorum longus
  • Extensor hallicus longus
  • Fibularis tertius

The posterior compartment

(all these muscles are at the distal end attached to the calcaneus by the Achilles' tendon)

The deep posterior compartment

The lateral compartment

Vasculature of the leg

The arteries

The veins

See also


  1. ^ MW Dictionary leg
  2. ^ l_10/12493851 at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. ^ leg at eMedicine Dictionary
  4. ^ l_06/12482031 at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  5. ^ c_64/12267973 at Dorland's Medical Dictionary

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Human_leg". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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