The muscles of the anterior leg are responsible for many of the movements of the foot. These muscles are necessary in order to stand and walk with the foot. There are multiple small joints in the ankle and foot whose movements must be co-ordinated in order for the foot and ankle, and even some of the toes, to move properly. These muscles are controlled by specific nerves and are nourished by several vital blood vessels.
A description of the muscles of the anterior leg
The fibularis, or sometimes called the peroneus, longus runs down the outside of the lower leg and inserts into a joint into the foot. It is one of the muscles responsible for plantarflexion, the motion that one makes when depressing a gas pedal or “pointing” the toes, and for eversion of the foot, which means to turn the foot out toward the side of the body. The fibularis, or peroneus, brevis is smaller and runs down the outside of the lower leg inserting in one of the joints near the smallest toe in the foot. It is responsible for the same set of movements as the nearby fibularis longus discussed above. The tibialis anterior runs from near the n=knee on the outer leg and sort of covers the shin finally inserting in a joint in an area between the large toe and the ankle, It is responsible for the actions that pull the foot and toes up toward the body as well as inverting the foot. These are the opposite movements of the ones that the two previous muscles of the anterior leg controlled. The extensor hallucis longus runs from about mid-shin down to the base of the large toe. It moves some of the joints of the large toe. The extensor digitorum longus runs from the knee down to the four smaller toes of the foot and moves these toes. The fibularis, or peroneus, tertius starts above the ankle and inserts near the base of the smallest toe and is one of the muscles responsible for eversion of the foot. These muscles work together with muscles in the foot to help make the foot and toes move smoothly and easily.
Other structures that are necessary for the muscles in the lower leg to function
Of course, the muscles of the anterior leg must have a blood supply so there are some arteries and veins in the area that take nutrients to and draw waste away from these muscles. Major blood vessels in the area include the tibial artery. The fibular or peroneal, and plantar nerves also take signals from the brain to these muscles and return messages from the anterior muscles of the leg back to the nervous system. These messages are vital in making a muscle move properly. There are two bones in the lower leg and multiple bones of the foot and ankle. Of course, there are also a number of tendons and ligaments that are a vital part of the motions controlled by these muscles.