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Extensor Hallucis Brevis
Muscular System

Extensor Hallucis Brevis

Extensor brevis hallucis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Dorsolateral aspect of calcaneus, inferior extensor retinaculum of foot, and talocalcaneal interosseous ligament.

Insertion: Dorsal aspect of base of proximal phalanx of great toe.

Action: Extends great toe.

Innervation: Deep fibular nerve (L5-S1).

Arterial Supply: Fibular, lateral tarsal, dorsalis pedis, and arcuate arteries.

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The extensor hallucis brevis muscle originates from the:

- dorsolateral aspect of calcaneus;

- the inferolateral portion of the inferior extensor retinaculum of foot;

- talocalcaneal interosseous ligament.


The fibers of the extensor hallucis brevis muscle travel anteromedially along the dorsum of the foot and insert, via a short tendon, onto the dorsal aspect the base of the proximal phalanx of the great toe.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The extensor hallucis brevis muscle is one of the muscles of the dorsum of the foot. It is a short, thin, fusiform type of skeletal muscle.

It is located:

- superior (superficial) to the cuboid, lateral cuneiform and medial cuneiform bones, the first metatarsal bone, the dorsalis pedis artery, and the deep fibular nerve;

- inferior (deep) to the tendons of the extensor digitorum longus and fibularis tertius muscles;

- medial to the extensor digitorum brevis muscle;

- lateral to the tendon of extensor hallucis longus muscle.

Actions & Testing

The extensor hallucis brevis muscle extends the proximal phalanx at the metatarsophalangeal joint of the great toe (Standring, 2016). It can be tested by extending the great toe against resistance, during which it can be seen and palpated (Sinnatamby, 2011).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Extensor hallucis brevis tendon graft


Sinnatamby, C. S. (2011) Last's Anatomy: Regional and Applied. ClinicalKey 2012: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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