Tibialis Anterior: Muscle and Tendon Connecting The Foot and Ankle

Tibialis Anterior (Tibialis Anticus) is a fusiform, vertical-oriented muscle located on the anterior part of the leg or shin bone (tibia). The tibialis anterior muscle becomes the tibialis anterior tendon, travels under the extensor reticulum as it crosses the ankle, and inserts onto the foot. This muscle is the strongest anterior leg muscle creating dorsiflexion of the foot on the ankle.


Let’s first discuss the movements or actions of the tibialis anterior muscle performed on the foot and ankle.

  • Primary Dorsifexor of ankle
    • Adduction of the foot
    • Inversion of the foot
  • It helps maintain the medial arch of the foot
  • Eccentric (deceleration) of the foot as plantarflexion, eversion, and pronation occurs.

The tibialis anterior can become painful when foot and ankle movements are limited. Tibialis anterior pain is called “shin splints” or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).

Detailed Anatomy
Origin (lower leg)

  • 2/3 of anterolateral surface of the tibia and lateral condyle
  • Interosseous membrane
  • The intermuscular septum between the tibialis anterior and extensor digitorum longus
Insertion (foot)

Medial Cuneiform bone and base of the first metatarsal bone (big toe)


Deep Peroneal Nerve (L4, L5, S1)


Anterior Tibial Artery

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