What are the extensor tendons in the leg?

Written by krista sheehan
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What are the extensor tendons in the leg?
Extensor tendons help straighten and extend feet and toes. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Oteo)

There are five extensor tendons that originate in the lower leg and attach to the ankle and toe bones. Extensor tendons help straighten and extend feet and toes.

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Tibialis Anterior

The tibialis anterior tendon stems from the tibialis anterior muscle, which makes up the outer shin on the lower leg. The tendon crosses the ankle and attaches to two bones: the medial cuneiform of the inner ankle and the first bone of the big toe. It assists with inversion and dorsiflexion.

Extensor Hallucis Longus

The extensor hallucis longus tendon originates at the distal end of the extensor hallucis longus muscle in the lower leg. It runs across the top of the foot and attaches to the big toe. It is responsible for extending the big toe.

Extensor Hallucis Brevis

The extensor hallucis brevis tendon also attaches to the big toe. It originates from the extensor digitorum brevis muscle in the lower leg and assists with extending the big toe.

Extensor Digitorm Longus

The extensor digitorum longus tendon connects to the distal end of the extensor digitorum longus muscle near the outer bottom of the lower leg. This tendon runs across the foot and attaches to the four smaller toes. It assists with extension, dorsiflexion and eversion.

Extensor Digitorum Brevis

The extensor digitorum brevis originates in the lower leg, where it stems from the extensor digitorum brevis muscle. This tendon branches into three tendons that connect to the second, third and fourth toes. They help with extension of the toes.

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