The purpose of this study was to evaluate the topography of the nerve distribution on the two heads of the lateral pterygoid and to clarify their morphological-functional correlations. The nerve distribution on the lateral pterygoid was studied in 24 hemi-sectioned heads. Both heads of the lateral pterygoid were innervated from the mandibular nerve branches, but with various nerve distribution patterns. The nerves innervating the superior head of the lateral pterygoid originated from the buccal nerve only in 45.8% of cases. In contrast, the nerves innervating the inferior head of the lateral pterygoid originated from both the buccal and mandibular nerve trunk in 58.3% of cases. In the seven distribution categories of the mandibular nerve branches, both the superior and inferior heads of the lateral pterygoid had a common source of nerve innervation in only 20.8% of cases, the buccal nerve. In contrast, in 45.9% of cases, additional nerve twigs from the mandibular nerve trunk were distributed on the inferior head of the lateral pterygoid. In summary, besides the buccal nerve described in anatomy textbooks, the nerve branches that originated directly from the mandibular nerve trunk innervated the lateral pterygoid.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||International journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 2003 Aug|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery