Muscles of the Leg

muscles of the leg

The muscles of the leg provide support and stability to the body. Its major functions include dorsiflexion and inversion of the foot at the talocrural joint, as well as dynamic support of the medial arch. Each muscle group has unique strength and function, which varies based on the activity.


The plantaris muscle is a small muscle with a long, thin tendon. It is located in the posterosuperficial compartment of the leg and is connected to the triceps surae muscle. It originates from the lateral supracondylar line of the femur and the oblique popliteal ligament. It is responsible for flexion of the leg at the knee.


The peroneal muscles are located in the legs and foot. These muscles are divided into two main tendons: the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis. The two tendons are separated by a tubercle at the peroneal plexus. The peroneal muscles have their own nerve supply.

Posterior tibialis

Imaging the posterior tibialis muscles is useful in understanding various tendon disorders, such as ruptures and ischemia. The axial proton density-weighted MR image shows a thickened posterior tibialis tendon and evidence of fibrosis. It also shows the inferior extension of the navicular.


The gastrocnemius muscle is one of the larger muscles in the leg. It originates from the femur (bone behind the knee joint) and attaches to the heel via the achilles tendon. This muscle provides the propelling force needed to step or run.

Sustentaculum talus

Sustentaculum tali muscles of the leg are prone to fracture, especially if there is trauma over the plantaromedial aspect. Sometimes the skin of this area is perforated and communicates with the tarsal sheath, resulting in infection and acute lameness. The severity of this condition depends on the extent of infection and the location of the fracture.

Superior extensor retinaculum

The superior extensor retinaculum is a band of muscle located above the tibiotalar joint. Its function is to stabilize the extensor tendons at the tarsometatal joints. An injury to this muscle can also damage other nearby muscles and tendons.

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