Morphology of peroneus tertius muscle

S D Joshi, S S Joshi, S A Athavale
Clinical Anatomy 2006, 19 (7): 611-4
Peroneus tertius (PT) muscle is peculiar to man, and man is the only member among the primates in whom this muscle occurs. The muscle is variable in its development and attachment. Because of functional demands of bipedal gait and plantigrade foot, part of extensor digitorum brevis (EDB) has migrated upwards into the leg from the dorsum of foot. PT is a muscle that evolution is rendering more important. In a total of 110 cadavers, extensor compartment of leg and dorsum of foot were dissected in both the lower limbs and extensor digitorum longus (EDL), and PT muscles were dissected and displayed. PT was found to be absent in 10.5% limbs, the incidence being greater on the right side. The remaining limbs in which the PT muscle was present had a very extensive origin from lower 3/4th of extensor surface of fibula (20% on right and in 17% on left), and the EDL was very much reduced in size. In approximately 12%, the tendon of PT was thick or even thicker than the tendon of EDL. In 4%, the tendon extended beyond fifth metatarsal up to metatarsophalangeal joint of fifth toe, and in 1.5%, it extended up to the proximal phalanx of little toe. In two cases (both on the right side), where PT was absent, it was replaced by a slip from lateral margin of EDL. We conclude that PT, which is preeminently human, is extending its purchase both proximally and distally.

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