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Abductor digiti minimi muscle of foot

Recommended video: Lateral plantar muscles of the foot (3D) [07:02]
Anatomy and functions of the lateral plantar muscles of the foot shown with 3D model animation.
Abductor digiti minimi muscle (Musculus abductor digiti minimi)

Abductor digiti minimi is an unipennate muscle located in the lateral part of the sole of the foot.

As there are horizontal and vertical groupings of foot muscles into four layers and three groups respectively, the full address of this muscle is that it belongs to the;

Extending between the calcaneus and fifth digit, the function of abductor digiti minimi is to support the lateral longitudinal arch of the foot during walking and running by abducting the fifth toe.

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the abductor digiti minimi muscle.

Key facts about the abductor digiti minimi muscle
Origin Calcaneal tuberosity, plantar aponeurosis
Insertion Base of proximal phalanx of digit 5, metatarsal bone 5
Action Metatarsophalangeal joint 5: Toe abduction, toe flexion;
Supports longitudinal arch of foot
Innervation Lateral plantar nerve (S1-S3)
Blood supply Lateral plantar artery
  1. Origin and insertion
  2. Relations
  3. Innervation
  4. Blood supply
  5. Functions
  6. Sources
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Origin and insertion

Abductor digiti minimi muscle originates from the plantar aponeurosis, lateral and medial processes of calcaneal tuberosity and the area between them. It courses anteriorly through the lateral part of the foot, giving off a tendon that inserts to the base of proximal phalanx of 5th digit and 5th metatarsal bone.

The part of the muscle that inserts onto the 5th metatarsal is the one originating from the lateral process of calcaneal tuberosity. These fibers can sometimes form a separate muscle called the abductor ossis metatarsi digiti quinti.


This muscle lies deep to the lateral plantar fascia and superficial to the flexor digiti minimi brevis. Lying along the lateral border of the foot, abductor digiti minimi is the most lateral muscle of the first layer. Medial to it are the flexor digiti minimi brevis muscle and the lateral plantar artery and nerve.


Abductor digiti minimi is innervated by the lateral plantar nerve (S1, S3), a branch of the tibial nerve.

Blood supply

This muscle is supplied by the branches of lateral plantar artery; plantar metatarsal and plantar digital arteries to 5th digit.


Although called the abductor, besides abducting, this muscle is a much more powerful flexor of the fifth toe at its metatarsophalangeal joint.

Its function is analogous to that of the abductor hallucis muscle from the opposite side of the foot; it maintains the concavity of the foot by supporting the lateral longitudinal arch during walking, running and jumping.

Learn about the functions of abductor digiti minimi and other foot muscles with Kenhub’s learning materials on the topic.

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