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Extensor hallucis longus

The extensor hallucis longus muscle extends the foot's big toe. Also, the muscle assists in dorsiflexing, which involves moving the foot so that the toes are closer to the shins. In addition, the muscle helps with the foot's inversion, the action that causes the foot to tilt onto its outer edge.

At the middle part of the front surface of the fibula (calf bone), the muscle arises from the interosseous membrane. The muscle then stretches to its insertion at the base of the large toe. The muscle is located between the tibialis anterior and the extensor digitorum longus muscles. In some people, the muscle joins (at its base of origination) with the extensor digitorum longus.


Oxygenated blood arrives at the extensor hallucis longus via the anterior tibial artery and blood is drained by one of the dorsal digital veins. The muscular innervations come by way of the deep fibular nerve.

Damage to the extensor hallucis longus muscle may limit the big toe's mobility. Since all five toes play a role in movement, this could have negative impact on walking and other motions involving the feet.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Extensor hallucis longus

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