Anatomy Tables - Anterior & Lateral Leg & Foot

Osteology

Bone Structure Description Notes
tarsal bones
(N523, N524,TG3-40A,TG3-40B)
  the bones of the ankle there are seven tarsal bones: talus, calcaneus, navicular, medial cuneiform, intermediate cuneiform, lateral cuneiform, cuboid
  transverse tarsal joint
(N523,TG3-61)
formed by the combined talonavicular part of the talocalcaneonavicular and calcaneocuboid joints synovial joint responsible for inversion/eversion of the foot; transection across this joint is a standard method for surgical amputation of the foot
talus
(N523,TG3-40)
  the most proximal of the tarsal bones the talus articulates with the medial malleolus of the tibia and the lateral malleolus of the fibula to form the ankle mortise joint (Latin, talus = ankle bone)
  body the proximal part of the talus its superior (trochlear) part participates in the ankle joint and its inferior part articulates with the calcaneus
  subtalar joint
(N524, N525,TG3-41A,TG3-41B)
occurs where the talus rests on and articulates with the calcaneus
  trochlea the superior portion of the body of the talus that lies between the two malleoli it has a smooth articular surface; it participates in the formation of the ankle joint (Latin, trochlea = pulley)
  head the portion of the talus that projects anteriorly it articulates with the navicular bone
  neck the constricted part of the talus located proximal to the head  
calcaneus
(N525,TG3-40A,TG3-40B,TG3-41A,TG3-41B)
  the tarsal bone which forms the heel it is the largest and strongest bone in the foot; a fracture of the calcaneus which separates the tuberosity from the body can be a debilitating injury (Latin, calcis = heel)
  calcaneal tuberosity the inferior roughened area of the calcaneus which contacts the ground during weight-bearing it is the attachment site of the plantar aponeurosis, abductor digiti minimi, flexor digitorum brevis, and the long plantar ligament
  sustentaculum tali the shelf-like medial projection of bone located inferior to the medial malleolus it is a shelf of bone that articulates with and supports the talus; it is grooved inferiorly by the tendon of the flexor hallucis longus m. (Latin, sustento = to hold upright)
navicular
(N523,TG3-40)
  the tarsal bone located distal to the talus and proximal to the three cuneiform bones it articulates with the head of the talus and all three cuneiform bones; it is the attachment site for an important ligament (plantar calcaneonavicular or "spring" ligament) that supports the medial longitudinal arch of the foot (Latin, navicular = small boat shaped structure)
cuneiform, medial
(N523,TG3-40)
  the most medial bone in the distal row of tarsal bones the cuneiform bones articulate with the navicular bone proximally and the bases of the metatarsal bones distally
cuneiform, middle
(N523,TG3-40)
  the intermediate bone of the three cuneiform bones the cuneiform bones articulate with the navicular bone proximally and the bases of the metatarsal bones distally
cuneiform, lateral
(N523,TG3-40)
  the bone that is located between the middle cuneiform and the cuboid bone the cuneiform bones articulate with the navicular bone proximally and the bases of the metatarsal bones distally
cuboid
N523,TG3-40)
  the most lateral bone in the distal row of tarsal bones the cuboid bone articulates with the calcaneus proximally and the fourth and fifth metatarsal bones distally
metatarsals
(N524,TG3-40A,TG3-40B)
  the bones located between the tarsal bones and the phalanges there are five metatarsal bones in the foot
  base the proximal end of the metatarsal it articulates with the distal row of tarsal bones
  body the slender shaft of the metatarsal it is also known as the diaphysis
  head the rounded distal end of the metatarsal it articulates with the proximal phalanx of the corresponding digit
phalanx (phalanges)
(N524,TG3-40A,TG3-40B)
  the distal two or three bones in the digits of the foot there are a total of 14 phalanges in the foot; the great toe has two phalanges (proximal and distal) and each of the other four toes has three phalanges (proximal, middle and distal); (Latin, phalanx = line of soldiers)
  base the proximal end of the phalanx the base of the proximal phalanx articulates with the head of the corresponding metatarsal bone; the base of the middle or distal phalanx articulates with the head of the next most proximal phalanx
  body the slender shaft of the phalanx also known as the diaphysis; the body of the distal phalanx is very short
  head the distal end of the phalanx the proximal, middle and distal phalanges each have a head; the head of a proximal or middle phalanx articulates with the base of the next most distal phalanx

Muscles

Muscle Origin Insertion Action Innervation Notes Image
abductor hallucis
(N533,TG3-49)
medial side of tuberosity of calcaneus medial side of base of proximal phalanx of hallux abducts hallux; flexes metatarsophalageal joint medial plantar nerve (Latin, hallex = great toe)
adductor hallucis
(N535,TG3-51)
oblique head: bases of metatarsals 2-4; transverse head: heads of metatarsals 3-5 lateral side of base of proximal phalanx of hallux adducts great toe (moves it toward midline of foot; i.e. 2nd digit) deep branch of lateral plantar nerve (Latin, hallex = great toe)
flexor hallucis brevis
(N533, N535,TG3-49,TG3-51)
cuboid, lateral cuneiform, medial side of first metatarsal medial belly: medial side of proximal phalanx of hallux; lateral belly: lateral side of proximal phalanx flexes metatarsophalangeal joint of hallux medial plantar nerve (lateral belly occasionally receives innervation from lateral plantar nerve) each tendon of insertion contains a sesamoid bone (Latin, hallex = great toe)
flexor digitorum brevis
(N533,TG3-49)
tuberosity of calcaneus, plantar aponeurosis, intermuscular septa base of middle phalanx of digits 2-5 after splitting to allow passage of flexor digitorum longus tendons flexes metatarsophalangeal & proximal interphalangeal joints of digits 2-5 medial plantar nerve none
fibularis (peroneus) longus
(N519, N521,TG3-36,TG3-37)
upper two/thirds of lateral surface of fibula after crossing plantar surface of foot deep to intrinsic muscles, it inserts on medial cuneiform and base of 1st metatarsal plantarflexes and everts the foot superficial fibular (peroneal) nerve lies superficial to fibularis brevis m.
fibularis (peroneus) brevis
(N519, N521,TG3-36,TG3-37)
lower one third of lateral surface of fibula tuberosity of base of 5th metatarsal plantarflexes and everts the foot superficial fibular (peroneal) nerve none
tibialis anterior
(N519,TG3-37)
lateral tibial condyle and upper lateral surface of tibia medial surface of medial cuneiform and 1st metatarsal dorsiflexes and inverts foot deep fibular (peroneal) nerve acts as both an antagonist and a synergist of tibialis posterior
peroneus mm. (SEE fibularis mm.)         peroneus is the old terminology used for fibularis mm.
extensor hallucis longus
(N519,TG3-37)
middle half of anterior surface of fibula & interosseous membrane base of distal phalanx of hallux extends metatarsophalangeal & interphalangeal joints of hallux deep fibular (peroneal) nerve (Latin, hallex = great toe)
extensor hallucis brevis
(N530,TG3-45)
superolateral surface of calcaneus dorsum of base of proximal phalanx of hallux extends great toe deep fibular (peroneal) nerve often considered medial-most part of extensor digitorum brevis m. (Latin, hallex = great toe)
extensor digitorum longus
(N519,TG3-37)
lateral condyle of tibia, anterior surface of fibula, lateral portion of interosseous membrane dorsum of lateral 4 toes via extensor expansions (central slip inserts on base of middle phalanx, lateral slips on base of distal phalanx) extends metatarsophalangeal, proximal interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints of lateral 4 toes deep fibular (peroneal) nerve none
extensor digitorum brevis
(N530,TG3-45)
superolateral surface of calcaneus extensor expansion of toes 2-4 (tendon to hallux is called extensor hallucis brevis) extends toes 2-4 deep fibular (peroneal) nerve none
fibularis (peroneus) tertius
(N521, N530,TG3-37,TG3-45)
distal part of anterior surface of fibula dorsum of shaft of 5th metatarsal bone everts foot deep fibular (peroneal) nerve fibularis tertius is in the anterior compartment of the leg, not the lateral compartment (which contains fibularis longus and brevis)
quadratus plantae
(N534,TG3-50)
anterior portion of calcaneus & long plantar ligament tendons of flexor digitorum longus m. assists flexor digitorum longus in flexing toes lateral plantar nerve (Latin, quadratus = square)
dorsal interosseous, of foot
(N531, N535, N536, N537,TG3-46,TG3-51,TG3-52)
four muscles, from shafts of adjacent metatarsal bones bases of proximal phalanges for digit 2 (both sides) & digits 3,4 (lateral side) abduct digits 2-4 (move these digits away from midline as defined by a line passing through 2nd digit), flex metatarsophalangeal joints and extend interphalangeal joints of those digits deep branch of lateral plantar nerve remember DAB (dorsal interossei ABduct) and PAD (plantar interossei ADduct), then logic can tell you where these muscles insert (Latin, inter = between + os = bone)
plantar interosseous, in foot
(N531, N535, N536, N537,TG3-46,TG3-51,TG3-52)
base and medial side of metatarsals 3-5 bases of proximal phalanges and extensor expansions of digits 3-5 adduct digits 3-5 (move these digits toward the midline of the foot as defined by the second digit),flex metatarsophalangeal and extend interphalangeal joints of digits 3-5 deep branch of lateral plantar nerve remember PAD (plantar interossei ADduct) and DAB (dorsal interossei ABduct), and logic will tell you where these muscles must insert (Latin, inter = between + os = bone)

Nerves

Nerve Source Branches Motor Sensory Notes
fibular, common
(N541,TG3-39)
sciatic lateral sural cutaneous, superficial and deep fibular nn. superficial fibular br.: muscles of lateral compartment of leg (fibularis longus and brevis mm.); deep fibular br.: mm. of anterior compartment of leg (tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis longus, extensor digitorum longus, fibularis tertius); mm. of dorsum of foot (extensor digitorum brevis and extensor hallucis brevis) superficial fibular: distal 1/3 of anterior leg; dorsum of foot excluding web between great toe and 2nd toe and distal interphalangeal segments of all toes; deep fibular: skin of the web between great and 2nd toes peroneal is old terminology which has been replaced by fibular
fibular, superficial
(N542,TG3-65)
common fibular medial dorsal cutaneous n. to medial side of foot; dorsal digital nn. to lateral 3 digits muscles of lateral compartment of leg (fibularis longus and brevis mm.) distal 1/3 of anterior leg; dorsum of foot excluding web between great toe and 2nd toe and distal interphalangeal segments of all toes;  
fibular, deep
(N542,TG3-65)
common fibular one proper digital br. to the 1st and 2nd toes mm. of anterior compartment of leg (tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis longus, extensor digitorum longus, fibularis tertius); mm. of dorsum of foot (extensor digitorum brevis and extensor hallucis brevis) skin of the web between great and 2nd toes peroneal is old terminology which has been replaced by fibular
peroneal, nn. SEE: fibular       peroneal is old terminology which has been replaced by fibular
plantar, medial
(N541,TG3-39)
tibial plantar cutaneous brs., proper plantar digital (medial side of hallux), common plantar digital (1st-3rd) abductor hallucis, flexor hallucis brevis, flexor digitorum brevis, 1st lumbrical skin of medial plantar surface of foot & plantar surface of medial 3 1/2 toes (and nail bed of these digits)  
plantar, lateral
(N541,TG3-39)
tibial superficial & deep brs. quadratus plantae, abductor digiti minimi, flexor digiti minimi brevis, lateral 3 lumbricals, adductor hallucis, plantar & dorsal interossei skin of lateral plantar surface of foot & plantar surface of lateral 1 1/2 digits (and nail bed of these digits)  
plantar digital, common
(N541,TG3-39)
medial plantar (1st-3rd); superficial br. of lateral plantar (4th) proper plantar digital nn. 1st lumbrical skin of plantar surface of toes (except medial side of hallux & lateral side of 5th toe) & nail bed of these toes  
plantar digital, proper
(N541,TG3-39)
common plantar digital, medial plantar (to medial side of great toe), superficial br. of lateral plantar (to lateral side of 5th toe)   flexor hallucis brevis (from plantar digital on medial side of great toe) skin of plantar surface of toes & dorsal surface of distal interphalangeal segment (including nail bed)  

Arteries

Artery Source Branches Supply Notes
plantar, medial
(N535,TG3-51)
posterior tibial digital brs. (3) superficial foot medially anastomoses with plantar metatarsal aa., but does not usually participate in formation of the plantar arch
plantar, lateral
(N535,TG3-51)
posterior tibial becomes continuous with the plantar arch; proper plantar digital a. to lateral side of 5th digit deep foot; the plantar arterial arch and its brs. supply the toes, including the distal phalangeal segment dorsally  
arch, plantar arterial
(N536,TG3-53)
lateral plantar plantar metatarsal aa. (4) deep foot; its plantar metatarsal brs. and their brs. supply the toes, including the distal phalangeal segment dorsally anastomoses with the deep plantar br. of the dorsalis pedis a.
tibial, anterior
(N520,TG3-38)
popliteal anterior & posterior tibial recurrent; anterior, medial & lateral malleolar; dorsalis pedis anterior leg, dorsal & deep foot anterior tibial a. becomes continuous with the dorsalis pedis a.; name change occurs at the level of the ankle joint
dorsalis pedis
(N520,TG3-38)
anterior tibial a. lateral & medial tarsal aa., arcuate a., 1st dorsal metatarsal a., deep plantar a. dorsal aspect of foot; anastomoses with plantar arterial arch the anterior tibial artery continues as the dorsalis pedis; the name change occurs at the level of the ankle (Latin, pes = foot)
plantar, deep
(N520,TG3-38)
dorsalis pedis   deep foot anastomoses with lateral plantar a. to form the plantar arterial arch

Topographic Anatomy

Structure/Space Boundaries/Description Significance
anterior compartment (extensor), leg
(N519,TG3-37)
tibia, fibula, interosseous membrane, anterior intermuscular septum contains tibialis anterior, extensor hallucis longus, extensor digitorum longus, fibularis tertius; also anterior tibial artery, deep fibular nerve
extensor retinaculum, superior
(N530,TG3-45)
strong band of deep fascia passing from the fibula to the tibia, proximal to the malleoli binds down the tendons of the muscles in the anterior compartment, preventing bowstringing during dorsiflexion of the ankle (Latin, retinaculum = a band or halter)
extensor retinaculum, inferior
(N530,TG3-45)
a Y-shaped band of fascia attached laterally to the anterosuperior surface of the calcaneus forms a strong loop around the tendons of the fibularis tertius and extensor digitorum longus muscles (Latin, retinaculum = a band or halter)
fibular retinaculum, superior
(N529,TG3-60)
a band of deep fascia that extends from the tip of the lateral malleolus to the calcaneus binds down the tendons of the fibularis longus and brevis (Latin, retinaculum = a band or halter)
lateral compartment (evertor), leg
(N519, N521,TG3-36,TG3-37)
anterior & posterior intermuscular septa, fibula contains: fibularis longus & brevis mm.; superficial fibular nerve
calcaneometatarsal ligament
(N532,TG3-48)
deep fascia forming an investment of the plantar surface of the lateral compartment of the foot continuous with the plantar aponeurosis
plantar aponeurosis
(N532,TG3-48)
deep fascia forming an investment of the plantar surface of the central and medial compartments of the foot continuous with the calcaneometatarsal ligament
medial compartment, foot
(N533,TG3-49)
compartment of the great toe contains: abductor hallucis and flexor hallucis brevis mm., tendon of flexor hallucis longus m., medial plantar a., v., & n.
lateral compartment, foot compartment of the little (5th) toe contains: abductor digiti minimi and flexor digiti minimi brevis mm., branches of lateral plantar a., v., & n.
central compartment, foot
(N533,TG3-49)
associated with the lateral 4 toes contains: flexor digitorum brevis & quadratus plantae mm. & lumbrical mm., tendons of flexor digitorum longus m., branches of lateral plantar a., v., & n.
adductor-interosseous compartment, foot deepest of the foot compartments contains: adductor hallucis & plantar & dorsal interossei mm., deep branch of lateral plantar n. & plantar arterial arch
medial longitudinal arch, foot formed by talus, navicular, cuneiforms, medial 3 metatarsals supported by spring ligament (plantar calcaneonavicular), assisted by tibialis anterior m.
lateral longitudinal arch, foot formed by calcaneus, cuboid, lat. 2 metatarsals supported by long & short plantar ligaments, assisted by fibularis longus m.
transverse arch, foot formed by cuneiforms & cuboid supported by long & short plantar ligaments, assisted by fibularis longus & tibialis anterior & posterior mm.
tarsal sinus space between the neck of the talus and the calcaneus contains the interosseous talocalcaneal ligament

Clinical Terms

Term Definition
compartment syndrome a group of symptoms which indicate a nerve, blood vessel or tendon is being constricted due to swelling within a closed anatomic space. A compartment syndrome may occur in an extremity after trauma (fracture) or inflammation (carpal tunnel syndrome). Some medications can also precipitate this condition. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain or loss of movement in an extremity. Surgery may be indicated if symptoms are severe or prolonged.
foot drop the most commonly injured nerve in the lower limb is the common fibular nerve, which wraps around the fibular neck. Severence of this nerve causes paralysis of all the muscles of the anterior and lateral compartments (dorsiflexors of the ankle and evertors of the foot). The loss of eversion of the foot and dorsiflexion of the ankle causes foot-drop.
shin splints an inflammatory condition of the anterior portion of the tibia that results from overuse (for example running on hard surfaces). Occurs in either trained athletes who don't stretch or individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle and then start running. The cause is swelling of the muscles in the anterior compartment, then edema and muscle-tendon inflammation which reduces bloodflow to the muscles. Shin splints are a mild form of anterior compartment syndrome.
bunion/hallux valgus a swelling or deformity at the head of the first metatarsal of the great toe (big toe) (Latin, hallux = great toe)
flat foot a condition in which one or more of the arches of the foot have flattened out so that the entire sole of the foot rests upon the ground; also, the deformity, usually congenital, exhibited by such a foot; also known as splayfoot.
talipes equinovarus (club foot) the most common congenital abnormality of the foot. Clubfoot may occur in several forms, but talipes equinovarus is the most common. In this case the foot turns downward and inward. Treatment involves the extended use of orthopaedic splints or casts to correct the position of the foot, often combined with surgery. (Latin, talus = ankle + pes = foot)


The material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest & Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York
Copyright © 1995, unauthorized use prohibited.
The excellent editorial assistance of
Dr. Pat Tank, UAMS
is gratefully acknowledged.

 

Updated 9 Nov 2011