The abductor digiti minimi is an intrinsic muscle of the human foot located within the first layer of plantar muscles, which lies nearest the surface of the skin. This muscle is responsible for abduction and flexion of the little toe. The abductor digiti minimi originates from the medial and lateral tubercles of the calcaneus and the plantar aponeurosis, attaching to the lateral base of the proximal phalanx of the 5th digit.
The abductor digiti minimi is innervated by the lateral plantar nerve, a branch of the tibial nerve, and is supplied with blood by the lateral plantar artery.
The abductor digiti minimi is a muscle located deep within the foot, and its presence is vital in performing certain activities such as standing, walking, or running. The abductor digiti minimi aids in the lifting of the foot by abducting the little toe, allowing the foot to grasp the ground and aid in balance. It is also involved in the dynamic shock absorption during propulsion.
The abductor digiti minimi is typically seen in standing, walking, and running as well as other activities such as climbing, jumping, and cycling. It also plays an important role in maintaining posture and preparing the foot for rapid deceleration and acceleration, such as in running, by preventing the foot from slipping during foot contact.
Injury to the abductor digiti minimi can result in pain or limited range of motion in the foot, as well as instability of the foot and the inability to perform certain activities. Some common injuries include tendonitis, avulsion fracture, and subluxation of the little toe. Treatment for such conditions includes rest, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
Fig 1 - The first layer of plantar muscles. The plantar aponeurosis has been cut to reveal the underlying flexor digitorum.
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