Anthropometry of the Black Adult tibia: A South African study.

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N. Naidoo; L. Lazarus; N. O. Ajayi & K. S. Satyapal


The tibia is the medial long bone of the leg and is characterized by a shaft and two expanded extremities. Despite the recent advent of tibial bone graft harvesting, the tibia has also been confirmed to be of great forensic significance. As this appears to be the only tibial dry bone study done in Southern Africa, this study aimed to investigate morphological and morphometric parameters that are of clinical and anthropometric importance. Morphological and morphometric examination of 302 adult tibial bone specimens of Black South Africans obtained from the osteological bank of the Discipline of Clinical Anatomy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal was performed. The sample consisted of 168 males and 134 females with an age range of 15 to 87 years old. The number of nutrient foramina were: (a) One (male: 98.2%; female: 99.3%); (b) Double (male: 1.8%; female: 0.7%); Relationship of nutrient foramen to the soleal line: (a) infero-medial (male: 0.6%; female: 1.5%); (b) inferior but directly opposite the middle of the bone (male: 8.2%; female: 2.2%); (c) infero-lateral (male: 81.8%; female: 88.9%); (d) infero-lateral, along interrosseous crest (male: 4.1%; female: 3.0%); (e) supero-medial (male: 4.7%; female: 3.7%); (f) supero-medial, along interrosseous crest (male: 0.6%; female: 0%); (g) supero-lateral (male: 0%; female: 0.7%). Statistically significant differences were recorded in tibial morphometric parameters between males and females. The relationship between the number of nutrient foramina and the soleal line was of statistical significance (p= 0.002). The greater prevalence of a single foramen observed in this study compared favorably with that reported in previous literature. The recognition of the regional distribution of the nutrient foramina may prevent injury during tibial bone graft procedures. A thorough understanding of the tibial anatomy may also assist with the provision of demographic data required in forensic investigation.

KEY WORDS: Tibia; Nutrient Foramen; Soleal Line; Morphometry.

How to cite this article

NAIDOO, N.; LAZARUS, L.; AJAYI, N. O. & SATYAPAL, K. S. Anthropometry of the Black Adult tibia: A South African study. Int. J. Morphol., 33(2):600-606, 2015.