What's your question?

How to remember origin and insertion of leg muscles?

Asked by Mehta 

Remembering origin and insertion or attachments of muscles is never any easy job. There are certain rule mnemonics given by Dr. Leif Saul: 

1. All muscles of the anterior compartment have an origin on the interosseous membrane (IOM). 

2. None of the muscles of the anterior compartment have origin on the interosseous membrane (IOM). 

3. Both "hallucis" muscles originate on IOM and fibula (mnemonic: tap your toe from the music of hiFI).

4. All peroneal/fibularis muscle originate on fibula.

5. EDL and TP have origin on all the 3 sites (tibia, IOM, fibula) - mnemonic: ED'll TP your house all over.

6. Counting each muscle's origins separately, the digitorum muscles together have 4 origins, the hallucis muscles together also have 4 origins, and the fibularis or peroneal muscles together have 4 origins as well:
  • Digitorum: FDL (tibia) and EDL (tibia, IOM, fibula)
  • Hallucis: FHL (IOM, fibula) and EHL (IOM, fibula)
  • Peroneal: PT (IOM, fibula), PL (fibula), PB (fibula)
7. Longus is long, hence, peroneus longus goes up above than peroneus brevis on fibula.

Source: Leif Saul, University of Colorado

Reference: Leif's Anatomy Tips - Assorted Tips on Origins, Insertions, and Actions

Besides these, gastrocnemius originates from posterior femoral condyles, plantaris from lateral femoral condyle and soleus from posterior aspect of tibia above the soleal line. All these inserts onto the calcaneal tuberosity (Achilles tendon)

Digitorum and Hallucis longus insert onto the base of distal phalanges.

Peroneus tertius and brevis insert onto 5th metatarsal base.

Peroneus longus inserts onto 1st metatarsal base and medial cuneiform (it is long and goes from lateral to medial during insertion)

Tibialis anterior inserts onto medial cuneiform and 1st metatarsal. 

Tibialis posterior inserts onto navicular and medial cuneiform.

  1. Indeed Dr. Leif's teaching methods are wonderful. I follow him here: http://leifsaul.com/about-me/