Temporal and Infratemporal Regions
The infratemporal fossa is a complex and irregularly shaped space, located deep in the masseter muscle. It acts as a conduit for many neurovascular structures that travel between the cranial cavity and other structures of the head.
The infratemporal fossa acts as a pathway for neurovascular structures passing between the cranial cavity, pterygopalatine fossa, and temporal fossa. It also contains some of the muscles of mastication.
Boundaries of Temporal Fossa
- Anterior: Zygomatic and frontal bones
- Posterior: Inferior temporal line and supra mastoid crest
- Superior:Superior temporal line
- Inferior: Zygomatic arch.
- Floor: Parts of frontal, parietal, temporal and greater wing of sphenoid.
Temporalis muscle is attached to the floor and inferior temporal line.
- Temporalis muscle
- Middle temporal artery
- Zygomaticotemporal nerve and artery
- Deep temporal nerve
- Deep temporal artery
It is an irregular space below the Zygomatic arch.
- Anterior: Posterior surface of the body of the maxilla.
- Roof: Infratemporal surface of greater wing of sphenoid
- Medial: Lateral pterygoid plate and pyramidal process of palatine bone
- Lateral : Ramus of mandible
- Lateral pterygoid muscle
- Media pterygoid muscle
- Mandibular nerve with its branches
- Maxillary nerve with posterior superior alveolar nerve
- Chorda tympani, branch of VII nerve
- 1st and 2nd parts of the maxillary artery with their branches.
Pterygopalatine fossa lies in the depth of pterygomaxillary fissure
- Anterior: Posterior surface of maxilla
- Posterior: Pterygoid process and greater wing of sphenoid
- Medial: Perpendicular plate of palatine bone
- Floor: Union of anterior and posterior walls
- Maxillary nerve and its branches
- Pterygopalatine ganglion with its branches
- Third part of maxillary artery and its branches
Muscles of Mastication
Some relations of the lateral pterygoid muscle and branches of maxillary artery
Course and Relations
- For descriptive purpose, the maxillary artery is divided into three parts.
- The first part runs horizontally forwards, first between the neck of the mandible and the sphenomandibular ligament, below the auriculotemporal nerve, and then along the lower border of lateral pterygoid.
- The second part runs upwards and forwards superficial to the lower head of the lateral pterygoid.
- The third part passes between the two heads of the lateral pterygoid and through the pterygomaxillary fissure, to enter the pterygopalatine fossa.