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Extensor Hallucis Longus Origin, Insertion, Action


Origin: Middle third of the medial surface of the fibula, interosseous membrane

Insertion: Dorsal aspect of the base of the distal phalanx of the great toe

Actions: Great toe extension, dorsiflexion of the foot

Innervation: Deep peroneal nerve (L5, S1)

Blood Supply: Branches from the anterior tibial artery


If you are looking for pain and symptoms information, please visit the Extensor Hallucis Longus Pain Page

Primary Actions of the Extensor Hallucis Longus

1. Extension of the great toe at the interphalangeal joint

Agonists: Extensor hallucis brevis

Antagonists: Flexor Hallucis Longus

2. Extension of the great toe at the metatarsophalangeal joint

Agonists: Extensor Hallucis Brevis


        • Flexor Hallucis Longus
        • Flexor Hallucis Brevis

Secondary Actions of the Extensor Hallucis Longus

Assists with dorsiflexion of the foot at the ankle

Agonists: Tibialis anterior


        • Gastrocnemius
        • Soleus

Peroneus tertius and extensor digitorum longus also assist with dorsiflexion of the foot at the ankle.



Clay, J. H., Allen, L., Pounds, D. (2015). Clay & Pounds' Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Netter, F. (2014). Atlas of Human Anatomy (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

Muscolino, J., (2016) Kinesiology: The Skeletal System and Muscle Function (3rd ed.). Maryland Heights, Missouri: Mosby.

Image Credits: Dreamstime