Muscles that act on the Ankle & Foot

Posterior view of the lower limb showing the muscles that act on the foot and ankle

The lower extremity contains a number of muscles that act on the ankle and foot.

The ankle muscles are a group of muscles located on the leg. They extend distally over the ankle and perform movements in the ankle joints.

These muscles mainly consist of the gastrocnemius and soleus (calf) muscles, the fibularis (peroneus) group and the tibialis anterior and posterior muscles.

The ankle muscles are responsible for inversion and eversion, plantar flexion and dorsiflexion of the ankle joints. They also support the ankle to prevent sprains.

There are also leg muscles that perform toe movements. They cross all the way from the leg across the ankle and foot towards the toes.

The flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus muscles perform plantar flexion of the hallux and the 2-5th toes, whereas the extensor digitorum longus and extensor hallucis longus dorsiflex them.

Lastly, the bottom foot muscles consist of 4 groups. A central plantar and lateral plantar group, the lateral and the dorsal foot muscles. They move the toes in various directions and allow finer coordination compared to the leg muscles.