Nerve: Deep peroneal nerve
Action: Extends digits 2, 3, and 4
Antagonist: Flexor digitorum longus, Flexor digitorum brevis
The Extensor digitorum brevisis a broad, thin muscle, which arises from the forepart of the upper and lateral surfaces of the calcaneus, in front of the groove for the Peronaeus brevis; from the lateral talocalcanean ligament; and from the common limb of the cruciate crural ligament. It passes obliquely across the dorsum of the foot, and ends in four tendons. The most medial, which is the largest, is inserted into the dorsal surface of the base of the first phalanx of the great toe, crossing the dorsalis pedis artery; it is frequently described as a separate muscle—the Extensor hallucis brevis. The other three are insertedinto the lateral sides of the tendons of the Extensor digitorum longus of the second, third, and fourth toes.
Variations.—Accessory slips of origin from the talus and navicular, or from the external cunei-form and third metatarsal bones to the second slip of the muscle, and one from the cuboid to the third slip have been observed. The tendons vary in number and position; they may be reduced to two, or one of them may be doubled, or an additional slip may pass to the little toe. A supernumerary slip ending on one of the metatarsophalangeal articulations, or joining a dorsal interosseous muscle is not uncommon. Deep slips between this muscle and the Dorsal interossei occur.
Nerves.—It is supplied by the deep peroneal nerve.
Actions.—The Extensor digitorum brevis extends the phalanges of the four toes into which it is inserted, but in the great toe acts only on the first phalanx. The obliquity of its direction counteracts the oblique movement given to the toes by the long Extensor, so that when both muscles act, the toes are evenly extended.