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Flexor Hallucis Brevis
Muscular System

Flexor Hallucis Brevis

Flexor brevis hallucis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Plantar surfaces of cuboid and lateral cuneiform bones; tendon of tibialis posterior.

Insertion: Medial and lateral aspects of base of proximal phalanx of great toe.

Action: Flexes great toe.

Innervation: Medial plantar nerve (S1-S3).

Arterial Supply: Medial and lateral plantar and plantar metatarsal arteries, deep plantar arch.

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The flexor hallucis brevis muscle originates from the:

- plantar surface of the cuboid bone;

- plantar surface of the lateral cuneiform bone;

- tendon of the tibialis posterior muscle.


The fibers of the flexor hallucis brevis muscle travel anteriorly and divide into two separate tendons. Both tendons contain a sesamoid bone and they insert onto the medial and lateral aspects of the base of the proximal phalanx of the great toe.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The flexor hallucis brevis muscle is located in the third layer of muscles that are found in the plantar part of the foot. It is a short skeletal muscle.

It is located:

- superior to the tendon of the flexor digitorum longus muscle;

- inferior to the first metatarsal bone;

- medial to the adductor hallucis muscle and the first lumbrical muscle of foot;

- lateral to the abductor hallucis muscle and the medial plantar nerve.

Actions & Testing

The flexor hallucis brevis muscle flexes the proximal phalanx at the metatarsophalangeal joint of the great toe. It can be tested by flexing the proximal phalanx of great toe at its metatarsophalangeal joint against resistance, while its interphalangeal joint is held in the extended position. This position prevents the flexor hallucis longus muscle from contracting (Standring, 2016).


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

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Flexor Hallucis Brevis Muscle

ScienceDirect image

The flexor hallucis brevis muscle, which flexes the first MPJ, consists of a medial and lateral head that insert into the medial and lateral aspects of the base of the proximal phalanx and the medial and lateral sesamoids, respectively.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

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