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Lateral Pterygoid Muscle (Left)
Muscular System

Lateral Pterygoid Muscle (Left)

Musculus pterygoideus lateralis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Superior head: infratemporal surface and infratemporal crest of greater wing of sphenoid bone; Inferior head: lateral surface of lateral pterygoid plate of sphenoid bone.

Insertion: Neck of mandible.

Action: Laterally moves and protracts mandible.

Innervation: Nerve to lateral pterygoid muscle (CN V3).

Arterial Supply: Pterygoid branches of maxillary artery and ascending palatine artery.

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Origin

The lateral pterygoid muscle arises as two heads. The superior head originates from the infratemporal surface and crest of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone. The inferior head arises from the lateral aspect of the lateral pterygoid plate of the sphenoid bone.

Insertion

The muscular fibers of the lateral pterygoid muscle converge and course in a posterolateral direction to insert into the pterygoid fovea on the neck of the mandibular. Some fibers from the upper head may also attach to the articular disc of the temporomandibular joint (Standring, 2016).

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The fibers of the lateral pterygoid are orientated horizontally.

Actions

Overall, the lateral pterygoid muscle is involved in multiple actions:

- during unilateral contraction, it laterally moves the mandible to the opposite side at the temporomandibular joint;

- during bilateral contraction, it protracts the mandible at the temporomandibular joint (Standring, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Trismus

References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Lateral Pterygoid Muscle

ScienceDirect image

Traction of the lateral pterygoid muscle after a sagittal fracture of the mandibular condyle can initiate distraction osteogenesis (DO), leading to the genesis of traumatic ankylosis of the TMJ.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

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