• anatomy;
  • extensor hallucis brevis;
  • extensor hallucis longus;
  • tendon;
  • variation


During routine dissection of an adult human cadaver, a suite of tendinous anomalies was discovered in the left hallucal region. Whereas the main tendon of the extensor hallucis longus muscle inserted normally, two accessory tendons were found coursing medial and lateral to the main tendon. The most lateral tendon originated from a supernumerary muscle belly and merged with the tendon of extensor hallucis brevis to form a composite tendon. The most medial tendon crossed the metatarsophalangeal joint and joined the composite tendon deep to the tendon of extensor hallucis longus. A terminal tendon, consisting of these three contributions, inserted upon the proximal hallucal phalanx. This variant likely arose due to atypical differentiation of the common extensor muscle mass during development, and is of particular significance to clinicians performing arthroscopy, tendon transfers, and other surgical procedures.