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Tibialis Anterior Muscle
Muscular System

Tibialis Anterior Muscle

Musculus tibialis anterior

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Quick Facts

Origin: Lateral condyle and proximal half of lateral surface of tibia, adjacent interosseous membrane of leg.

Insertion: Inferomedial aspect of medial cuneiform bone and base of first metatarsal bone.

Action: Dorsiflexes foot at ankle joint; inverts foot at subtalar and transverse tarsal joints.

Innervation: Deep fibular nerve (L4-L5).

Arterial Supply: Anterior tibial artery.

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The tibialis anterior muscle originates from the:

- lateral condyle of tibia;

- proximal half of lateral surface of tibia;

- anterior aspect of the adjacent interosseous membrane of leg;

- adjacent intermuscular septum and crural fascia.


The fibers of the tibialis anterior muscle travel inferomedially to the foot and insert, via a long tendon, onto the:

- inferomedial aspect of the medial cuneiform bone;

- inferomedial aspect of the base of first metatarsal bone.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The tibialis anterior muscle is found in the anterior compartment of the leg. It is a long, thin, fusiform type of skeletal muscle. In the distal one third of the leg, the muscle belly gives rise to a tendon that travels deep to the superior and inferior extensor retinacula of the foot, where it passes through the tendinous sheath of tibialis anterior. Along the medial aspect of the foot, the tendon then travels anteromedially to its insertion sites.

The tibialis anterior muscle is located:

- superficial to the tibia, the interosseous membrane of leg, the extensor hallucis longus muscle, and the anterior tibial vessels;

- medial to the extensor digitorum longus and extensor hallucis longus muscles.

Actions & Testing

The tibialis anterior muscle is involved in multiple actions:

- dorsiflexes the foot at the ankle joint;

- inverts the foot at the subtalar and transverse tarsal joints;

- helps stabilize the longitudinal arch of the foot.

The tibialis anterior muscle cannot be tested in isolation, therefore all four muscles of the anterior compartment of the leg are tested simultaneously by dorsiflexing the foot at the ankle joint against resistance, during which the tendon of the tibialis anterior can be palpated (Standring, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Anterior shin splints


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

Tibialis Anterior Muscle

ScienceDirect image

The tibialis anterior muscle, which arises mainly from the upper two-thirds of the lateral surface of the tibia, is a thick fleshy muscle that ends in a tendon attached on the medial side of the foot to the medial cuneiform bone and the first meta-tarsal bone.

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