Extensor Hallucis Longus

General information

Extensor hallucis longus muscle is a thin muscle that belongs to the anterior leg compartment along with the extensor digitorum longus, tibialis anterior and fibularis tertius muscles.

Literal meaning

The long muscle that straightens the big toe.

Interesting information

The muscle acts across three of the foot joints: the talocrural, metatarsophalangeal and interphalangeal joints. Situated on the lateral aspect of the leg, it has smaller cross-sectional area than the anterior tibialis and extensor digitorum longus.


Middle third of medial surface of fibula, interosseous membrane.


Base of distal phalanx of great toe.


1st Metatarsophalangeal and interphalangeal joint: toe extension

Talocrural joint: foot dorsiflexion.

Nerve supply

Deep fibular nerve (L5, S1).

Blood supply

Anterior tibial artery.

Extensor Hallucis Longus

Relevant research

The research recommends movement restriction followed by range of motion exercises after surgery for an extensor hallucis longus tendon repair. These exercises and splinting have been noted to limit scar formation and adhesions. End range movement of the tendons should be avoided for a minimum of a month to avoid re-injuring the tendon.

Wong, J. C., Daniel, J. N., & Raikin, S. M. (2014). Repair of acute extensor hallucis longus tendon injuries: a retrospective review. Foot & ankle specialist, 7(1), 45–51.

Extensor hallucis longus exercises


Big toe extension band

Big toe extension band

Place a resistance band around the big toe and pull your toe in an upwards direction.


Big toe extension

Big toe extension

Use your hand, to bend your big toe towards your body, upwards.

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