Peroneus longus and tibialis anterior muscle activity in the stance phase. A quantified electromyographic study of 10 controls and 25 patients with chronic ankle instability

Acta Orthop Scand. 1995 Dec;66(6):517-23. doi: 10.3109/17453679509002306.


The electromyographic activity of the peroneus longus and anterior tibial muscles of 25 patients with chronic ankle instability (18 patients with bilateral symptoms and 7 patients with unilateral complaints) and 10 controls was registered during the stance phase under different walking conditions. With balance secured by external support, there was a variable amount of peroneal activity, most of which was found in the third quarter of stance. A high increase in peroneus longus activity starting after foot-flat was found when subjects had to maintain balance in a natural way. No difference in peroneal activity was found in relation to instability complaints. It is thought that the peroneus longus serves to maintain balance, that this function decreases with increase of speed and that one cannot rely on this muscle to prevent an inversion injury during normal walking. The anterior tibial muscle was predominantly active in the first quarter after heel contact. An increase in activity in the second quarter as an effect of loss of secured balance suggests that this muscle plays some part in balance control, but this is not its main function. A significant increase in tibialis anterior activity was found in patients with bilateral instability. No significant difference was found between the symptomatic and asymptomatic leg of patients with unilateral instability under the same walking conditions. These findings suggest changes in central control.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Walking / physiology