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Anatomy of Abductor Digiti Minimi of Foot

The abductor digiti minimi muscle of foot is located on the lateral side of the foot and is primarily responsible for the abduction of the fifth toe.

Abductor Digiti Minimi of Foot Anatomy

Origin & Insertion

The Abductor Digiti Minimi of Foot originates from the calcaneal tuberosity and inserts into the proximal phalanx of the fifth toe. This muscle is innervated by the lateral plantar nerve and receives its blood supply from branches of the lateral plantar artery.

See Also: Foot Anatomy

Functional Role

The primary function of the abductor digiti minimi of foot is to facilitate the abduction and flexion of the little toe. This action is crucial for maintaining balance and providing a wide base of support while walking or standing. Additionally, it contributes to the foot’s arch integrity by supporting the lateral edge.

Abductor Digiti Minimi of the foot

Clinical Significance

Common Pathologies

Plantar Fasciitis

Although primarily involving the plantar fascia, plantar fasciitis can impact the abductor digiti minimi of foot due to its proximity and the shared attachment at the calcaneal tuberosity. Inflammation in this area can lead to pain that extends into the muscle.

Baxter’s Neuropathy

Baxter’s neuropathy, also known as entrapment of the first branch of the lateral plantar nerve, can affect the abductor digiti minimi of foot. Symptoms often include pain and muscle weakness in the lateral foot, impacting toe abduction.

Physical Examination

Physical examination of the abductor digiti minimi of foot involves assessing muscle strength, tone, and the ability to abduct the fifth toe against resistance. Observing gait and testing for tenderness over the muscle can also provide valuable insights.

Management and Treatment

Initial management often includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation. Physical therapy focusing on strengthening and stretching exercises is crucial for rehabilitation.

In cases where conservative management fails, surgical options may be considered. These could include decompression of the nerve or repair of any structural damage to the muscle. Advanced treatments like shockwave therapy have also shown promise in managing pain and promoting healing.

OriginCalcaneal tuberosity
InsertionBase of fifth toes of the foot
InnervationLateral plantar nerve
Blood SupplyLateral plantar artery
ActionAbduct small toe

References & More

  1. Clinically Oriented Anatomy – 8th Edition
  2. del Sol M, Olave E, Gabrielli C, Mandiola E, Prates JC. Innervation of the abductor digiti minimi muscle of the human foot: anatomical basis of the entrapment of the abductor digiti minimi nerve. Surg Radiol Anat. 2002 Feb;24(1):18-22. doi: 10.1007/s00276-002-0001-1. PMID: 12197005. Pubmed
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