Flexor Hallucis Longus

Flexor Hallucis Longus

Some of the main tendons on the medial (inside) of the ankle/foot make up ‘Tom, Dick & Harry’.  That is, the Tibialis Posterior, Flexor DigitormLongus and Flexor Hallucis Longus.Foot anatomy


Injuries to the Flexor Hallucis have classically been described in ballet dancers, secondary to their constant repetitive plantar flexion (on toes).  Hence, the injury is often called dancers tendinitis/tendinopathy. Such injures have also been described in association with climbing, soccer and running. These sports involve frequent push-off maneuvers of the forefoot in these activities. Flexor Hallucis Longus tendon is frequently seen in association with other conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and seronegative spondyloarthropathies.Foot MRI

It’s important to rule out, or, rule in as the case may be, a Flexor Hallucis Longus tendon involvement in Achilles presentations. As the Flexor Hallucis Longus tendon plays a major role in ankle and mid foot/arch movement and proprioception, a dysfunction may help contribute
to or indeed become part of the pain picture.

A dysfunctional mid foot can produce a loss in or reduction of the Windlass Mechanism seen in plantar flexion of the ankle (on toes). When things are not moving well, compensation kicks in from the body which may cause pain.


It’s important to get niggles checked out sooner rather than later. Tendon’s as a rule of thumb take a considerable time frame to recover from. This being said, getting you out of pain and allowing you Foot Anatomyto train is the most important part of recovery.

If you think you have a problem in or around your foot/ankle, contact your Chartered Physiotherapist today to take a step in the right direction.


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IMG_0129Patrick Mc Carrick MISCP

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