Author: Dr Peter de Souza
Last modified: 23 November 2023

The dorsal interossei muscles of the foot are a group of intrinsic muscles within the fourth layer of the plantar muscles of the foot.

The intrinsic muscles of the foot consist of one intrinsic muscle on the dorsal aspect of the foot (the extensor digitorum brevis), and 4 layers of muscles on the plantar aspect of the foot:

  • 1st layer: abductor hallucis, flexor digitorum brevis, abductor digiti minimi
  • 2nd layer: quadratus plantae, lumbricals
  • 3rd layer: flexor hallucis brevis, adductor hallucis, flexor digiti minimi brevis
  • 4th layer: dorsal interosseri, plantar interossei


  • Opposing sides of adjacent metatarsals 1-5


  • Extensor expansions on the medial dorsal base of proximal phalanx of second toe
  • Extensor expansions on the lateral dorsal base of proximal phalanges of toes 2-4


  • Abduction of toes 2 to 4
  • Flexion of interphalangeal joints


  • Lateral plantar nerve from tibial nerve: S2, S3

Blood Supply

  •  Dorsalis metatarsal artery