Lateral pterygoid muscle

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Lateral pterygoid muscle
Musculuspterygoideuslateralis.png
The Pterygoidei; the zygomatic arch and a portion of the ramus of the mandible have been removed (labeled as "pterygoideus externus", visible in pink at center)
Gray311.png
Sagittal section of the temporomandibular joint (labeled as "pterygoideus externus", visible in gray at bottom right)
Details
Latin Musculus pterygoideus lateralis,
musculus pterygoideus externus
Great wing of sphenoid and pterygoid plate
Condyloid process of the mandible
Pterygoid branches of maxillary artery
Lateral pterygoid nerve from the mandibular nerve
Actions depresses mandible, protrude mandible, side to side movement of mandible
Identifiers
Gray's p.386
MeSH A02.633.567.600.700
Dorlands
/Elsevier
m_22/12550292
TA A04.1.04.006
FMA FMA:49015
Anatomical terms of muscle

The lateral pterygoid (or external pterygoid) is a muscle of mastication with two heads. It lies superiorly to the medial pterygoid.

Origin and insertion[edit]

The upper/superior head originates on the infratemporal surface and infratemporal crest of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, and the lower/inferior head on the lateral surface of the lateral pterygoid plate.

Inferior head inserts onto the neck of condyloid process of the mandible; upper/superior head inserts onto the articular disc and fibrous capsule of the temporomandibular joint.

Innervation[edit]

The mandibular branch of the fifth cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve, specifically the lateral pterygoid nerve, innervates the lateral pterygoid muscle.

Function[edit]

The primary function of the lateral pterygoid muscle is to pull the head of the condyle out of the mandibular fossa along the articular eminence to protrude the mandible. A concerted effort of the lateral pterygoid muscles acts in helping lower the mandible and open the jaw whereas unilateral action of a lateral pterygoid produces contralateral excursion (a form of mastication), usually performed in concert with the medial pterygoids.

Unlike the other three muscles of mastication, the lateral pterygoid is the only muscle of mastication that assists in depressing the mandible (opening the jaw). At the beginning of this action it is assisted by the digastric, mylohyoid and geniohyoid muscles.

Additional images[edit]

External links[edit]