The lower extremities include all the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles from the hips to the toes. Specifically, when talking about the lower extremities, we will discuss a lot about the hips, knees, ankles, and toes.
Interestingly, many people refer to the lower extremities as the legs; however, the leg is actually the lower part of the leg, between the knee and ankle. While this may seem like trivial semantics, the truth is that mislabeling the terms can cause a lot of problems in the medical records and lead to a misdiagnosis, so we should be diligent in how we describe conditions in the lower extremities.
The thigh is the portion of the lower extremity between the hip and knee. There are blood vessels, nerves, bones, joints, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles in both the thigh and leg regions. Our lower extremities must be strong enough to hold our weight, but light enough for us to be able to move. Connecting and allowing these movements is the spinal column, which is covered in another category.
There is a wide range of injuries and conditions that can happen in the lower legs, from a broken toe to a displaced hip to a torn knee ligament. The musculoskeletal system has a complex and magnificent architecture that is supposed to work like a well-oiled machine. When something goes wrong in the architecture, you will likely need to see an orthopedic doctor. Often, injuries in the lower extremities require a surgical procedure; however, as orthopedic surgeons, it is our responsibility to make sure we entertain all other measures before considering invasive procedures.
In our lower extremities blog category, we will talk about things like arthritis and osteoarthritis, fractures, hip dislocations, prosthetics, torn ACL, labral tears (hip), and many other topics that cover medical conditions and surgical procedures in this area of the body. None of the content on this website or in our blog is meant to diagnose or treat diseases in the lower extremities.