Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. 2: Dia-Ins
Todd, Robert Bentley
is the peroneous externus. (See Leg, Mus¬ 
cles of.) The tendon of this muscle passes 
behind the outer malleolus, then, running 
downwards and forwards, it enters a groove 
formed in the os calcis, close behind the pro¬ 
minence of the base of the fifth metatarsal 
bone. It then runs across the sole of the foot, 
in contact with the bones, to be fixed to the 
inner cuneiform bone and metatarsal bone of 
the great toe. The course and situation of the 
tendon well deserve particular attention in the 
dissection of the foot. Without some study, it 
is impossible fully to understand its office, or 
how essential its action is to the mechanism of 
progression. If we examine the general form 
of the foot, we see that the anterior end of it is 
not square, owing to the comparative length of 
the toes. These are not of equal length, but 
are each shorter than the other as we proceed 
outwards, the outermost of all being the short¬ 
est. This part of the foot then is like the end of 
an oblong, with one angle greatly rounded off. 
When, therefore, the weight of the body is, by 
the elevation of the heel, thrown forwards upon 
the toes, there is necessarily a tendency, in this 
shape of the foot, to tilt the pressing force out¬ 
wards, whereas if all the toes had been of equal 
length, the elevation of the heel would simply 
have thrown the weight directly forwards, the 
support being equal on both sides of the foot. 
This tendency outwards, occasioned by the 
difference in length of the toes, is still further 
increased by the difference in strength, the 
largest, the most unyielding support, being on 
the inner side of the foot, the smallest and the 
most yielding being on the outer. This then 
being the construction of the basis of support, 
some means of counteracting this tendency was 
necessary to enable us to carry the body directly 
forwards, even in the simple act of walking, 
and still more in the more violent exertions. 
This is accomplished by the peroneus longus, 
whose tendon, like a girt, passes under the 
outer edge of the sole, and thus, lifting this, 
and in some degree turning the sole outwards, 
throws the weight of the body upon the great 
toe. This action of the muscle is particularly 
exemplified in the movements of skaiting. 
The movements of the bones of the tarsus 
are so distinct and constant that we have clas¬ 
sified the muscles which act upon them sepa¬ 
rately from those of the ankle. (See Foot, 
Joints of.) 
The muscles of the great toe are remarkable, 
as might be expected, for their size and strength. 
The long flexor is considerably larger than that 
common to the other toes, and gives to this a 
slip of its tendon, so that the flexor longus pol- 
licis does in fact assist in flexing all the toes. 
The general arrangement of all the muscles 
and tendons in the sole is very curious, and 
has a further object than the mere flexion of the 
toes. The great toe is, as we see, well provided, 
and it needs this, since it bears the greatest 
share of the burden of the body in walking, 
&c. The muscular provision for the other toes 
is as considerable, and indeed more so, in pro¬ 
portion to the size of the toes. There is, 1st, 
the flexor brevis digitorum; 2d, the flexor longus 
Fig. 169. 
1 Flexor accessorius. 
2 Flexor pollicis longus. 
3 Flexor digitorum longus. 
4 Slip from the flexor pollicis longus to the flexor 
digitorum longus. 
5 Lumbricales. 
6 Tendon of long flexor. 
digitorum ; 3d, this tendon receives an aux¬ 
iliary tendon from the long flexor of the great 
toe; 4th, the massa carnea; 5th, the lumbricales. 
There can be little doubt that the use of all 
these muscles is to give a powerful support to 
the antero-posterior arch of the foot, to which 
purpose the mere ligaments would be little 
equal. But we must admire not only the 
number and force but the arrangement of these 
muscles, which are so placed as to act, almost 
all of them, from the same centre, and there¬ 
fore with greater advantage for the object of 
strengthening the arch. Thus the flexor brevis 
digitorum lies pretty nearly central in this region, 
while immediately under it the flexor longus 
digitorum, running from within outwards, is 
crossed in the opposite oblique direction by the 
flexor longus pollicis, and these again are still 
further checked outwards by the flexor accesso¬ 
rius, so that the centre of action of all these mus¬ 
cles and of the lumbricales also, which arise from 
the long flexor tendon, is in the same line as the 
flexor brevis, which lies over them, and as a 
support to the great arch of the foot this arrange¬ 
ment of the muscular chords must have a pecu¬ 
liarly advantageous effect. 
(A. T. S. Dodd.) 


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