Tuesday, 24th April 2018
24 April 2018
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Temporal and Infratemporal Regions – Anatomy

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

  1. Anterior: Zygomatic and frontal bones
  2. Posterior: Inferior temporal line and supra mastoid crest
  3. Superior:Superior temporal line
  4. Inferior: Zygomatic arch.
  5. Floor: Parts of frontal, parietal, temporal and greater wing of sphenoid.

Temporalis muscle is attached to the floor and inferior temporal line.

Contents

  1. Temporalis muscle
  2. Middle temporal artery
  3. Zygomaticotemporal nerve and artery
  4. Deep temporal nerve
  5. Deep temporal artery

Infratemporal Fossa

It is an irregular space below the Zygomatic arch.

Boundaries

  1. Anterior: Posterior surface of the body of the maxilla.
  2. Roof: Infratemporal surface of greater wing of sphenoid
  3. Medial: Lateral pterygoid plate and pyramidal process of palatine bone 
  4. Lateral : Ramus of mandible

Contents

  • 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

Pterygopalatine fossa lies in the depth of pterygomaxillary fissure

Boundaries

  1. Anterior: Posterior surface of maxilla
  2. Posterior: Pterygoid process and greater wing of sphenoid
  3. Medial: Perpendicular plate of palatine bone
  4. Floor: Union of anterior and posterior walls

Contents

  • Maxillary nerve and its branches
  • Pterygopalatine ganglion with its branches
  • Third part of maxillary artery and its branches

 Muscles of Mastication

Maxillary Artery

Some relations of the lateral pterygoid muscle and branches of maxillary artery

Image result for 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.

 

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