Flexor Digitorum Brevis

General information

Flexor digitorum brevis is a broad muscle located deeply in sole of the foot. Along with the abductor hallucis and abductor digiti minimi muscles, it makes up the first layer of plantar muscles.

Also, this muscle is part of the central plantar muscles group in the foot, along with the quadratus plantae, lumbricals, plantar interossei and dorsal interossei muscles.

Literal meaning

The short muscle that bends the toes.

Interesting information

This muscle propels the body forward during gait.


Medial process of calcaneal tuberosity, plantar aponeurosis and intermuscular septum.


Middle phalanges of 2nd – 5th digits.


2nd – 5th Metatarsophalangeal joints: Toe flexion; supports longitudinal arch of foot.

Nerve supply

Medial plantar nerve (S1-S3).

Blood supply

Medial and lateral plantar arteries and plantar arch, plantar metatarsal and plantar digital arteries.

Flexor Digitorum Brevis

Relevant research

Research has shown that to correct claw or hammer toe deformities, surgery can be performed to transfer the flexor digitorum brevis tendon to the proximal phalanx dorsum.

Becerro de Bengoa Vallejo, R., Viejo Tirado, F., Prados Frutos, J. C., Losa Iglesias, M. E., & Jules, K. T. (2008). Transfer of the flexor digitorum brevis tendon. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 98(1), 27–35.

Flexor digitorum brevis exercises

Toe flexion both sides

Toe flexion both sides

Standing or sitting, bend the toes downwards, towards the floor. Hold, relax and then repeat.

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