Extensor Digitorum Longus

Written by Roxanne Salkeld

Last updated January 7, 2023 • 4 Revisions •

The extensor digitorum longus is a muscle in the anterior compartment of the leg. It is located lateral to the tibialis anterior, and its four tendons can be palpated on the dorsal surface of the foot.

  • Attachments:
    • Originates from the lateral condyle of the tibia and the medial surface of the fibula.
    • The fibres converge into a tendon, which travels onto the dorsal surface of the foot.
    • The tendon splits into four and each tendon inserts onto a toe, as shown in the image below.
  • Actions: Extension of the lateral four toes and dorsiflexion of the foot
  • Innervation: Deep fibular nerve
  • Blood supply: Anterior tibial artery

Fig 1
The muscles of the anterior leg.

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