Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

leg - The human leg

thigh foot hip ankle

A term commonly used to refer to the whole of the lower limb, primarily used for support and movement; more precisely, in anatomy, the region between the knee and ankle joints, distinguished from the thigh (between the hip and knee joints) and the foot (beyond the ankle joint). It articulates with the trunk via the pelvic girdle (the hip bones and sacrum). The bones are the femur in the thigh, the tibia and fibula in the leg, and the tarsals, metatarsals, and phalanges in the foot. The muscles on the front of the thigh and leg cause flexion at the hip, and extension at the knee and ankle joints and of the toes; those on the back of the thigh and leg cause opposite movements. The muscles within the foot also move the toes.

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