The Functions of the Fibula and Bone Grafting
Primarily, the fibula serves as attachment for the skeletal muscles in the leg. It does not bear the body weight like the tibia does because it is slender. In fact, the tibia can support the body weight even without the fibula. Consequently, the fibula is often safely harvested and is used in bone grafting, surgical procedure of transplanting bone tissues to replace fractured or diseased bones. Usually, the fibula is used in reconstructing the mandible (lower jaw).
In bone grafting, the blood supply of the fibula is always significantly considered because it’s a major factor for the survival of the bone graft. The fibular artery supplies blood, nutrients, oxygen and other essential substances to the middle third of the fibular shaft. This is why the middle third of the fibular shaft is commonly harvested for bone graft. The blood vessel that supplies blood to the fibula, particularly to its head and epiphysis, is the anterior tibial artery.