Lower Leg Muscles And Tendons Anatomy

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Lower Leg Muscles And Tendons Anatomy

Lower Leg Muscles And Tendons Anatomy

Lower Leg Muscles and Tendons Anatomy

The lower leg, located between the knee and ankle, is a complex structure comprising bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. It plays a crucial role in weight-bearing activities such as walking, standing, running, and jumping.


The lower leg is supported by two strong, long bones: the tibia and the fibula. The tibia, or shinbone, is the main weight-bearing bone, located toward the middle of the lower leg. The fibula, or calf bone, is smaller and located on the outside of the lower leg.


The lower leg is divided into four compartments that contain various muscles:

1. Anterior Compartment: This compartment, in front of the shin, holds the tibialis anterior, the extensor digitorum longus, the extensor hallucis longus, and the peroneus tertius muscles. These muscles pull the toes and feet upward, a process known as dorsiflexion.

2. Lateral Compartment: Located along the outside of the lower leg, it contains the peroneus longus and peroneus brevis muscles. These muscles pull the toes and feet outward and help with pointing the foot, or plantar flexion.

3. Posterior Compartment: This compartment holds the large muscles known as the calf muscles—the gastrocnemius and soleus. The gastrocnemius is shorter, thicker, and the most visible of the calf muscles. The soleus lies underneath. These muscles attach to the Achilles tendon and aid with plantar flexion.

4. Deep Posterior Compartment: The details of the muscles in this compartment are not provided in the search results.


Tendons connect muscles to bones. When the muscle contracts, the tendons are pulled, and the bone is moved. The major tendon in the lower leg is the calcaneal tendon, or Achilles tendon. It attaches the muscles of the calf to the calcaneus. The action of the Achilles tendon allows for basic motions in the leg, such as walking and running.


The lower leg is also home to nerve fibers, including the superficial fibular (or superficial peroneal) nerve, the deep fibular (or deep peroneal) nerve, and the tibial nerve.


The lower leg’s intricate anatomy enables it to perform key functions and withstand the body’s weight. Understanding its structure and function can help in diagnosing and treating common conditions that affect the lower leg, such as stress fractures, compartment syndrome, shin splints, and muscle tears.

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