Tibia fibula (lateral view)

Dr Henry Knipe and Sarah Gorton et al.

The tibia fibula lateral view is part of a two view series of the entire tibiafibula, and both the knee and ankle joint. 

  • the patient is in a lateral recumbent position on the table
  • the lateral aspect of the knee and ankle joint should be in contact with the table resulting in the tibia lying parallel to the table
  • the leg can be bent or straight 
  • place the opposite leg behind the injured limb to avoid over rotation
  • mediolateral projection
  • centring point
    • mid-point between the ankle joint and the knee joint
  • collimation
    • anterior-posterior to the skin margins 
    • superior to the knee joint
    • inferior to ankle joint
  • orientation  
    • portrait or diagonal depending on limb length  
  • detector size
      • 35 cm x 43 cm or 43 cm x 35 cm
  • exposure
    • 50-60 kVp
    • 3-5 mAs
  • SID
    • 100 cm
  • grid
    • no

The fibula is projected well posterior to the tibia with superimposition at both the proximal and distal ends.

The skin margins are not cut off the image. 

Both the knee joint and the ankle joint are visible if there is suspicion of pathology at either joint, dedicated views should be performed. 

Placing the detector in a diagonal orientation with an increased SID can heighten your chances of getting the entire lower limb on the one image. 


In trauma, it may not be possible to place the patient as above, in these cases the same principles can be applied with a modified horizontal beam view. The patient can remain supine with an image receptor placed vertically adjacent to the lateral aspect of the upright ankle; the X-ray beam is directed horizontally, centred midway between the knee and the ankle joint. 

Radiographic views
Share article

Article information

rID: 41410
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Figure 1: lateral view
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.