Art Anatomy

The Tendons of the Foot

The dramatic features of the foot are not the muscles, but the complex network of tendons that run over and through the foot. Most of these tendons have already been described in the chapter on the lower leg, but it is helpful to see them presented together.

Running to toes #2 - 5 are the four tendons of extensor digitorum longus. The tendon running similarly to the big toe is that of extensor hallucis longus, which appears from between extensor digitorum longus and tibialis anterior. The tendon of tibialis anterior can be seen running immediately alongside, pointing sharply downward at the base of the first metatarsal.

On the medial side of the foot, one can clearly see the tendon of tibialis anterior. Running along the posterior side of the medial malleolus and obliquely to the underside of the talus are two tendons, flexor digitorum longus and tibialis posterior. The latter is a deep muscle, but its tendon is the prominent one here.

On the lateral side the prominent, straight tendon of peroneus longus can be seen running to the posterior side of the lateral malleolus. From there to the base of the fifth metacarpal is the tendon of peroneus brevis. On the other side of the malleolus, lying next to the most lateral tendon of extensor digitorum longus but running more downwardly, one can see a short stretch of peroneus tertius.

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Next: The Bones of the Hand

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