Muscles of the Anterior Leg
• Dorsiflexors of ankles and extensors of toes
reside in anterolateral compartment as the tibia fills the
• Anterior tibialis:crosses to the medial arch of foot & is an
invertor of foot, as well as dorsiflexor of ankle
• Extensor digitorum longus:primary function is to extend
toes II-V (lift them up). It also performs dorsiflexion of the
ankle and eversion of the foot.
• Extensor Hallucis longus [hallux = great toe]:extends the
great toe (pulls it up), but also assists with dorsiflexion and
inversion of the ankle.
• Peroneus tertius – small muscle, absent in some people.
dorsiflexion and eversion of the ankle.
Muscles of the Lateral Leg
• Evertors of the foot
– Tendons pass to the lateral margin and
underside of the foot
• Help to prevent excessive inversion
• Peroneus longus: ankle plantarflexion and
• Peroneus brevus:does not go under the foot. It
also performs plantar flexion and eversion of the
Muscles of the Posterior leg
• Gastrocnemius: plantarflexor ankle & flexes knee
• Soleus: plantarflexor
• Plantaris:weakly plantarflexes the ankle joint &flex the knee
joint. Its function is so minimal that its long tendon can readily
be harvested for reconstruction elsewhere with little functional
• Popliteus: relatively small muscle at the back of the tibia. Its
tendon winds gradually upward around the lateral side of the
knee to attach to the femur just above the outside of the knee
on the lateral epicondyle.
• Flexor hallucis longus
• Flexor digitorum longus:Flexes distal phalanges of lateral four
toes and foot at ankle. Supports lateral longitudinal arch
• Tibialis posterior: primary invertor & plantarflexor