Tibialis anterior muscle

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Tibialis anterior muscle
Tibialis anterior
Tibialis anterior muscle - animation.gif
Pronunciation/ˌtɪbiˈlɪs/ or /ˌtɪbiˈælɪs/
OriginFrom the upper 1/2 or 2/3 of the lateral surface of the tibia and the adjacent interosseous membrane
InsertionMedial cuneiform and the base of first metatarsal bone of the foot
ArteryAnterior tibial artery
NerveDeep Fibular (peroneal) nerve (L5)
ActionsDorsiflexion and inversion of the foot
AntagonistFibularis longus, Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Plantaris, Tibialis posterior
Latinmusculus tibialis anterior
Anatomical terms of muscle

The tibialis anterior muscle is a muscle in humans that originates along the upper two-thirds of the lateral (outside) surface of the tibia and inserts into the medial cuneiform and first metatarsal bones of the foot. It acts to dorsiflex and invert the foot. This muscle is mostly located near the shin.

It is situated on the lateral side of the tibia; it is thick and fleshy above, tendinous below. The tibialis anterior overlaps the anterior tibial vessels and deep peroneal nerve in the upper part of the leg.


The tibialis anterior muscle arises from:

The fibers of this circumpennate muscle are relatively parallel to the plane of insertion, ending in a tendon, apparent on the anteriomedial dorsal aspect of the foot close to the ankle.

It passes through the most medial compartments of the transverse and cruciate crural ligaments. It is inserted into the medial and under surface of the medial cuneiform bone and the base of the first metatarsal bone.[2]

Nerve supply[edit]

The tibialis anterior muscle is supplied by the deep fibular nerve (L4, L5), a branch of common fibular nerve.[1][3]


A deep portion of the muscle is rarely inserted into the talus, or a tendinous slip may pass to the head of the first metatarsal bone or the base of the first phalanx of the great toe.

The tibiofascialis anterior, a small muscle from the lower part of the tibia to the transverse or cruciate crural ligaments or deep fascia.[clarification needed]


The tibialis anterior muscle is the most medial muscle of the anterior compartment of the leg. It is responsible for dorsiflexing and inverting the foot, and is the largest dorsiflexor of the foot.[1] The muscle has two origins, one being the lateral tibial condyle and the other being the upper lateral surface of the tibia, and inserts on the medial surface of the medial cuneiform and adjoining part of base of the first metatarsal of the foot allowing the toe to be pulled up and held in a locked position. It also allows for the ankle to be inverted giving the ankle horizontal movement allowing for some cushion if the ankle were to be rolled. It is innervated by the deep peroneal nerve and acts as both an antagonist and a synergist of the tibialis posterior. However, the most accurate antagonist of the tibialis anterior is the peroneus longus. The tibialis anterior aides in the activities of walking, running, hiking, kicking a ball, or any activity that requires moving the leg or keeping the leg vertical. It functions to stabilize the ankle as the foot hits the ground during the contact phase of walking (eccentric contraction) and acts later to pull the foot clear of the ground during the swing phase (concentric contraction). It also functions to 'lock' the ankle, as in toe-kicking a ball, when held in an isometric contraction.[4]

Antagonists are plantar-flexors of the posterior compartment such as soleus and gastrocnemius.

The movements of tibialis anterior are dorsiflexion and inversion of the ankle. However, actions of tibialis anterior are dependent on whether the foot is weight bearing or not (closed or open kinetic chain). When the foot is on the ground, the muscle helps to balance the leg and talus on the other tarsal bones so that the leg is kept vertical even when walking on uneven ground.

Clinical significance[edit]

Some clinicians attempt to treat tibialis anterior muscle issues with acupuncture techniques, such as dry needling.[1] There is significant bias in studies evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture versus medical treatments,[5] and the decision to use acupuncture should be made carefully.

A tibialis anterior hernia is a rare type of hernia in which fat or other material protrudes through a defect in the tibialis anterior muscle.[6] It may be caused by trauma, such as an inadvertent kick to the lower leg from an opposing player in a football match.

Additional images[edit]

medial view of dissected ankle has two muscles

See also[edit]


Public domain This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 480 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ a b c d Ma, Yun-tao (2011-01-01), Ma, Yun-tao (ed.), "CHAPTER 14 - General Principles of Treating Soft Tissue Dysfunction in Sports Injuries", Acupuncture for Sports and Trauma Rehabilitation, Saint Louis: Churchill Livingstone, pp. 212–233, doi:10.1016/b978-1-4377-0927-8.00014-2, ISBN 978-1-4377-0927-8, retrieved 2021-03-01
  2. ^ a b Baldry, P. E.; Thompson, John W. (2005-01-01), Baldry, P. E.; Thompson, John W. (eds.), "Chapter 18 - Pain in the lower limb", Acupuncture, Trigger Points and Musculoskeletal Pain (Third Edition), Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, pp. 315–324, doi:10.1016/b978-044306644-3.50022-x, ISBN 978-0-443-06644-3, retrieved 2021-03-01
  3. ^ Preston, David C.; Shapiro, Barbara E. (2013-01-01), Preston, David C.; Shapiro, Barbara E. (eds.), "33 - Sciatic Neuropathy", Electromyography and Neuromuscular Disorders (Third Edition), London: W.B. Saunders, pp. 518–528, doi:10.1016/b978-1-4557-2672-1.00033-7, ISBN 978-1-4557-2672-1, retrieved 2021-03-01
  4. ^ Uzun, Bora; Taylan, Orçun; Gültekin, Barış; Havıtçıoğlu, Hasan (2011-05-01). "Dynamic measurements of musculus tibialis anterior ligaments with different angles". Journal of Biomechanics. Abstracts of the Fifth International Participated National Biomechanics Congress. 44: 2. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.02.021. ISSN 0021-9290.
  5. ^ DENG, SHIZHE; ZHAO, XIAOFENG; DU, RONG; HE, SI; WEN, YAN; HUANG, LINGHUI; TIAN, GUANG; ZHANG, CHAO; MENG, ZHIHONG; SHI, XUEMIN (October 2015). "Is acupuncture no more than a placebo? Extensive discussion required about possible bias". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 10 (4): 1247–1252. doi:10.3892/etm.2015.2653. ISSN 1792-0981. PMC 4578107. PMID 26622473.
  6. ^ Hullur, H.; Salem, Y.; Al Khalifa, J.; Salem, A. (2016). "Tibialis anterior muscle hernia: rare but not uncommon". BMJ Case Reports. 2016: bcr2016217569. doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-217569. PMC 5174854. PMID 27999130.

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