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Extensor hallucis longus



Extensor hallucis longus - anterior view
Extensor hallucis longus - lateral view

General information

  • This section is strictly limited to anatomy, you might be looking for clinical relevant information which is found under the clinical chapters -- muscles section, click here to go to that page


  • Mainly deep


  • Middle 2/4 of anterior part of fibula
  • Middle 2/4 of membrana interosseous


  • Dorsal surface of the distal phalanx of the big toe

Main function

  • MTP 1
    • Extension
  • IP 1
    • Extension

Secondary function

  • Ankle
    • Dorsiflexion
  • Foot
    • Inversion

Nerve innervation

  • Segmental
    • L5-S1
  • Peripheral
    • Deep part of the peroneal nerve

Arterial supply

  • Anterior branch of the tibial artery


  • Patient position
    • Sitting or supine
  • Place one hand at the dorsal side of the patient's foot
  • Ask the patient to actively extend the big toe while you feel for the contraction in the tendon
  • When you have palpated the tendon continue to feel for it in a proximal direction
    • It is possible to palpate it up until the distal 1/2 of the calf until it disappears deep to the tibialis anterior and extensor digitorum longus tendon

Strength test

  • Patient position
    • Sitting or supine
  • Grab the patient's heel and hold the foot stable in a slight plantarflexed position
  • Give resistance at the dorsal surface of the patient's big toe in a flexion direction
    • The patient gives force towards extension of the big toe
  • This test also affects the extensor hallucis brevis