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Sphenomandibular Ligament
Connective Tissue

Sphenomandibular Ligament

Ligamentum sphenomandibulare

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Structure

The sphenomandibular ligament is an aponeurotic band derived from Meckel’s cartilage of the first pharyngeal arch of embryonic development.

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Anatomical Relations

The sphenomandibular ligament is usually separate from the temporomandibular joint capsule. It runs from the spine of the sphenoid bone to the lingula of the mandible. The inferior alveolar nerve is a close relation to the sphenomandibular ligament and descends between the ligament and the ramus of the mandible before entering the mandibular foramen.

Function

The sphenomandibular ligament limits distension of the mandible inferiorly.

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Temporomandibular Joint

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TMJ dislocation (open lock) occurs when the condyle achieves a position anterior and superior to the crest of the articular eminence during jaw motion.

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