Extensor hallucis longus muscle

The extensor hallucis longus is a thin muscle, situated between the tibialis anterior and the extensor digitorum longus, that functions to extend the big toe and dorsiflects the foot, and assists with foot eversion and inversion.

Extensor hallucis longus muscle
The mucous sheaths of the tendons around the ankle. Lateral aspect. (Ext. hall. long. labeled at upper left.)
OriginArises from the middle portion of the fibula on the anterior surface and the interosseous membrane
InsertionInserts on the dorsal side of the base of the distal phalanx of the big toe
Arteryanterior tibial artery
Nervedeep fibular nerve
deep peroneal nerve, L5 (L4-S1)
ActionsExtends the big toe and assists in dorsiflexion of the foot at the ankle. Also is a weak evertor/ invertor
AntagonistFlexor hallucis longus, Flexor hallucis brevis
Latinmusculus extensor hallucis longus
Anatomical terms of muscle

It arises from the anterior surface of the fibula for about the middle two-fourths of its extent, medial to the origin of the Extensor digitorum longus; it also arises from the interosseous membrane to a similar extent.

The anterior tibial vessels and deep peroneal nerve lie between it and the Tibialis anterior.

The fibers pass downward, and end in a tendon, which occupies the anterior border of the muscle, passes through a distinct compartment in the cruciate crural ligament, crosses from the lateral to the medial side of the anterior tibial vessels near the bend of the ankle, and is inserted into the base of the distal phalanx of the great toe.

Opposite the metatarsophalangeal articulation, the tendon gives off a thin prolongation on either side, to cover the surface of the joint.

An expansion from the medial side of the tendon is usually inserted into the base of the proximal phalanx.


Occasionally united at its origin with the extensor digitorum longus.

The extensor ossis metatarsi hallucis, a small muscle, sometimes found as a slip from the extensor hallucis longus, or from the tibialis anterior, or from the extensor digitorum longus, or as a distinct muscle; it traverses the same compartment of the transverse ligament with the extensor hallucis longus.


Deep peroneal(fibular) nerve, branch of common peroneal(fibular) nerve (L4, L5, S1).

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This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 481 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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