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Extensor Digitorum Longus Muscle Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action

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Muscle Anatomy of the Extensor Digitorum Longus

Origin:  Lateral condyle of the tibia, the proximal two-thirds of the medial surface of the fibula, the adjacent anterior surface of the interosseous membrane, the anterior intermuscular septum, and the septum between it and tibialis anterior
Insertion: Divides into four slips and inserts at the base of each of the lateral four proximal phalanges. Each tendon then divides into three slips: an intermediate slip which attaches to the base of the middle phalanx, and two collateral slips which attach to the base of the distal phalanx
Actions: Extension of the four lateral toes
Innervation: Deep Peroneal nerve (L5 – S1 )
Blood Supply: Branches from the anterior tibial artery

Extensor Digitorum Longus Muscle Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Muscle Anatomy: Extensor Digitorum Longus Actions

Primary Actions of the Extensor Digitorum Longus

1. Extension of the four lateral toes at the proximal interphalangeal joints


  • Extensor Digitorum Brevis


  • Flexor Digitorum Longus
  • Flexor Digitorum Brevis

2. Extension of the four lateral toes at the metatarsophalangeal joints


  • Extensor Digitorum Brevis


  • Flexor Digitorum Longus
  • Flexor Digitorum Brevis
  • Flexor Digiti Minimi

3. Flexion of the four lateral toes at the distal interphalangeal joints


  • None


  • Flexor Digitorum Longus

Secondary Actions of the Extensor Digitorum Longus:

1. Assists with dorsiflexion of the foot at the ankle


  • Tibialis Anterior


  • Gastrocnemius
  • Soleus


Information about cause and effect of Extensor Digitorum Longus pain:

Extensor Digitorum Longus Top of the Foot Pain

Recommended Anatomy Books:

Anatomy Coloring Book

The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.

Human Muscle Anatomy

The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the lay person who wants to gain understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy

Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT's will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.

Muscle Anatomy Flashcards

Musculoskeletal Anatomy Flashcards Are you a student or professional therapist who needs to brush up on the musculoskeletal system? Dr. Joseph E. Muscolino DC has developed a comprehensive set of flashcards that will help develop a mind's picture of exactly where the muscles lie under the skin. A highly recommended study aid for students. Great for non students who want an easy comprehensive anatomy guide.

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