Posterior Compartment of the Leg

The posterior compartment of the leg is usually subdivided into superficial and deep parts. In each region that you study, you should first identify the major superficial items in that region. The superficial structures to identify are the:
  • small saphenous vein
  • peroneal communicating branch of the common peroneal nerve
  • medial cutaneous nerve of the calf
  • sural
The superficial part of the posterior compartment of the leg is made up of three muscles:
  • gastrocnemius
  • plantaris
  • soleus
  
The deepest layer of muscles includes the:
  • tibialis posterior
  • flexor digitorum longus
  • flexor hallucis longus

Nerve of Posterior Compartment of Leg

The muscles of the posterior compartment of the leg are all supplied by the tibial nerve.

Artery of the Posterior Compartment of the Leg

The posterior tibial artery supplies the tissues of the posterior compartment of the leg. It is one of the terminal branches of the popliteal artery.

Table of Muscles

Superficial Group
Muscle Origin Insertion Action Nerve
Supply
gastrocnemius medial and lateral condyles of femur calcaneum plantar flexes (flexes) foot; flexes knee tibial nerve
plantaris lateral supracondylar ridge
of femur
calcaneum plantar flexes foot; flexes knee tibial nerve
soleus shafts of tibia and fibula calcaneum with gastrocnemius, a powerful plantar flexor of ankle;
main propulsive force in walking and running
tibial nerve


Deep Group
Muscle Origin Insertion Action Nerve
Supply
flexor digitorum longus shaft of tibia distal phalanges of lateral four toes flexes distal phalanges of lateral four toes;
plantar flexes foot; supports lateral longitudinal arch of foot
tibial nerve
flexor hallucis longus shaft of fibula base of distal phalanx of big toe flexes distal phalanx of big toe; plantar
flexes foot; supports medial longitudinal arch of foot
tibial nerve
tibialis posterior shafts of tibia and fibula and interosseous membrane tuberosity of navicular bone plantar flexes foot; inverts foot at subtalar and transverse tarsal joints; supports medial longitudinal arch of foot tibial nerve


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Lower Limb Bones |  Anterior Thigh |  Medial Thigh |  Gluteal Region |  Posterior Thigh |  Anterior Leg and Dorsal Foot |  Lateral Leg |  Posterior Leg |  Sole of the Foot |  Ankle |  Joints of the Lower Limb |  Summary of Items in the Lower Limb | Radiographs of the Lower Limb |  Table of Muscles | 



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