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Transverse Head of Adductor Hallucis
Muscular System

Transverse Head of Adductor Hallucis

Caput transversum adductoris hallucis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Plantar ligaments of metatarsophalangeal joints and deep transverse metatarsal ligament.

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

Action: Adducts great toe at its metatarsophalangeal joint.

Innervation: Deep branch of lateral plantar nerve (S2-S3).

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

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The transverse head of adductor hallucis muscle originates from the:

- plantar ligaments of the metatarsophalangeal joints of the third, fourth and little toes;

- adjacent deep transverse metatarsal ligament.


The muscle bellies of the oblique and transverse heads of adductor hallucis travel anterolaterally and converge to a single tendon, which inserts onto the lateral aspect of the base of the proximal phalanx of the great toe.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

Overall, the adductor hallucis muscle is located in the third layer of muscles that are found in the plantar part of the foot. It is a fan-shaped skeletal muscle and is composed of two heads, which are named based on the orientation of their muscle fibers:

- a large oblique head;

- a small transverse head.

The adductor hallucis muscle is located:

- superior to the first to third lumbrical muscles of foot and the tendons of the flexor digitorum longus and flexor digitorum brevis muscles;

- inferior to the second to fourth metatarsal bones, the first and second dorsal interossei and first and second plantar interossei muscles of the foot;

- lateral to the flexor hallucis brevis muscle.


Overall, the adductor hallucis muscle is involved in multiple actions:

- adducts the proximal phalanx of great toe (i.e., draws it towards the longitudinal axial line of the second toe) at the first metatarsophalangeal joint;

- helps stabilize the transverse arch of the foot (Sinnatamby, 2011).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Hallux valgus


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

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