Abductor Digiti Minimi (foot)

The abductor digiti minimi (abductor minimi digiti, abductor digiti quinti) is a muscle that lies along the lateral (outer) border of the foot and is in relation to its medial margin with the lateral plantar artery, vein, and nerves. Its homolog in the arm is the abductor digiti minimi muscle in the hand. Latin: Musculus abductor digiti minimi pedisAntagonist: Flexor digiti minimi brevis muscle

The abductor digiti minimi (abductor minimi digitiabductor digiti quinti) is a muscle that lies along the lateral (outer) border of the foot,[1] and is in relation to its medial margin with the lateral plantar artery, vein, and nerves.

Its homolog in the arm is the abductor digiti minimi muscle in the hand.


Origin and insertion

It arises, by a broad origin, from the lateral process of the tuberosity of the calcaneus, from the undersurface of the calcaneus between the two processes of the tuberosity, from the forepart of the medial process, from the plantar aponeurosis, and from the intermuscular septum between it and the flexor digitorum Brevis.[2]

Its tendon, after gliding over a smooth facet on the surface of the base of the fifth metatarsal bone, is inserted, with the flexor digiti quinti brevis, into the fibular side of the base of the first phalanx of the fifth toe.[2]


The abductor digiti minimi is innervated by the lateral plantar nerve, a branch of the tibial nerve.


Its function is flexion[3] and abduction of the fifth (little) toe at the metatarsophalangeal joint.[2][3]

Clinical relevance

Due to its role in posture during all physical activity while in an upright position, the abductor digiti minimi is often the target of injury.[citation needed]

In the case of polydactyly, it may insert to the sixth toe instead if there is one.[citation needed]


The Latin name abductor digiti minimi translates to abductor of the small digit while the alternative name abductor digiti quinti means abductor of the fifth digit.

Additional images

Abductor digiti minimi muscle of the foot
The first layer of the muscles of the sole (abductor digiti minimi visible at center right).
Superficial view of the plantar arteries (abductor digiti minimi visible at center right).
Origin Plantar aponeurosis
Insertion Fifth toe or phalanges
Artery Lateral plantar artery
Nerve Lateral plantar nerve
Actions Flexion and abduction of the fifth toe
Antagonist Flexor digiti minimi brevis muscle
Latin Musculus abductor digiti minimi pedis


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