Great auricular nerve

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Great auricular nerve
The nerves of the scalp, face, and side of neck. (Great auricular visible below ear.)
Plan of the cervical plexus. (Great auricular labeled at top center.)
Latin nervus auricularis magnus
Cervical plexus (C2-C3)
Innervates Cutaneous innervation of the inferior part of the auricle and the parotid region of the face.
Gray's p.926
TA A14.2.02.018
FMA 6872
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The great auricular nerve originates from the cervical plexus, composed of branches of spinal nerves C2 and C3. It provides sensory innervation for the skin over parotid gland and mastoid process, and both surfaces of the outer ear.


Although this nerve is frequently referred to as the "greater" auricular nerve, this is not the proper nomenclature since there is no "lesser" auricular nerve. Great refers to the distinction between it and the Auriculotemporal nerve, which is the less influential of the two.


It is the largest of the ascending branches. It arises from the second and third cervical nerves, winds around the posterior border of the Sternocleidomastoideus, and, after perforating the deep fascia, ascends upon that muscle beneath the Platysma to the parotid gland, where it divides into an anterior and a posterior branch.


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This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.