Topographic anatomy of the masseter muscle focusing on the tendinous digitation

Ju Young Lee, Jeong Nam Kim, Ja Young Yoo, Kyung Seok Hu, Hee Jin Kim, Wu Chul Song, Ki Seok Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The masseter muscle has superficial tendons that interdigitate like a saw (tendinous digitations), but a detailed description of these tendons is lacking in anatomic textbooks and atlases. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the topographic anatomy of the masseter muscle, focusing on its tendinous digitation. Sixty-five adult faces (113 sides) were dissected. Five parameters, including the lengths, widths, and thickness of the muscle, were measured. The number and morphology of tendinous digitations were also investigated. The length and width of the masseter muscle were longer and wider in male specimens than in female specimens. The number of masseter muscle tendinous digitations was predominantly two in males and three in females. The length of the tendinous digitations tended to be about three-quarters of that of the muscle. The second tendinous digitation was the longest in male specimens, while the first tendinous digitation was the longest in females. Based on our results, the external morphology of the masseter muscle does not match that described in anatomical atlases and textbooks. These findings may be helpful as a basic reference and in the treatment of masseter muscle hypertrophy and masseter tenomyositis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-892
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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