Osteometry and Morphology of the Human Fibula: A South African Study

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022015000300042
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Naidoo, N.; Ishwarkumar, S.; Lazarus, L.; Pillay, P. & Satyapal, K. S.


Recent studies have regarded the fibula flap as the benchmark for the reconstruction and treatment of compound wounds and lesions. Owing to its postero-lateral location within the leg, the application of the fibula flap is deemed aesthetically advantageous as the donor scar can be easily hidden. Since the fibula is anatomically characterized by a shaft and two extremities, this study aimed to investigate the nutrient foramen morphology and the relative fibular osteometry. Osteometric and morphological evaluation of 104 dry human fibulae, representing male and female individuals of the Black and Caucasian population groups that are native to South Africa, were conducted (Age range: 15 ­ 81 years old). The presence of single, double and six nutrient foramina were noted. A total of fifteen different locations of the nutrient foramen relative to the fibular surfaces, margins and component parts were identified. In addition to several other osteometric parameters, the mean fibular length (mm) and diameter of the nutrient foramina (mm) were [(male: 374.85±2.01; female: 345.49±1.86) (Black: 363.60±2.38; Caucasian: 380.42±3.01)] and [(male: 1.00±0.34; female: 0.96±0.42) (Black: 0.98±0.37; Caucasian: 1.11±0.27)], respectively. In light of the lack of osteometric data regarding destabilization and subsequent reconstruction of the talocrural joint, the relative sides and angles of the irregular triangular talar facet were quantified. Due to the correlation of the respective fibular parameters with age, sex and races, the focus of this study was extensive in comparison to previous studies. The recorded statistically significant differences for age, sex and race may suggest a South African standardization of those demographic factors with the relevant fibular parameters. Furthermore, the location of nutrient foramina within the fibular shaft may assist with the mapping and development of simple classification schemes for the harvesting of fibular grafts.

KEY WORDS: Fibula; Osteometry; Morphology; Nutrient foramen.

How to cite this article

NAIDOO, N.; ISHWARKUMAR, S.; LAZARUS, L.; PILLAY, P. & SATYAPAL, K. S. Osteometry and morphology of the human fibula: A South African study. Int. J. Morphol., 33(3):1071-1077, 2015.