The infraorbital nerve (ION) is a cardinal cutaneous nerve that provides general sensation to the mid face. Its twigs are vulnerable to iatrogenic damage during medical and dental manipulations. The aims of this study were to elucidate the distribution pattern of the ION and thus help to prevent nerve damage during medical procedures and to enable accurate prognostic evaluation where complications do occur. This was achieved by treating 7 human hemifaces with the Sihler modified staining protocol, which enables clear visualization of the course and distribution of nerves without the accidental displacement of these structures that can occur during classic dissection. The twigs of the ION can be classified into the usual 5 groups: inferior palpebral, innervating the lower eyelid in a fan-shaped area; external and internal nasal, reaching the nosewing and philtrum including the septal area between the nostrils, respectively; as well as medial and lateral superior labial, supplying the superior labial area from the midline to the mouth corner. Of particular note, the superior labial twigs fully innervated the infraorbital triangle formed by the infraorbital foramen, the most lateral point of the nosewing, and the mouth corner. In the superior 3-quarter area, the ION twigs made anastomoses with the buccal branches of the facial nerve, forming an infraorbital nervous plexus. The infraorbital triangle may be considered a dangerous zone with respect to the risk for iatrogenic complications associated with the various medical interventions such as implant placement.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Craniofacial Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 2014 Jan 1|
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