Infratemporal fossa

Infratemporal fossa

Infobox Anatomy
Latin = fossa infratemporalis
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Caption = Left infratemporal fossa.

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DorlandsPre = f_14
DorlandsSuf = 12376096
The infratemporal fossa is an irregularly shaped cavity, situated below and medial to the zygomatic arch.


It is bounded by the following structures:

* "anteriorly", by the infratemporal surface of the maxilla and the ridge which descends from its zygomatic process

* "posteriorly", by the articular tubercle of the temporal and the spinal angularis of the sphenoid

* "superiorly", by the greater wing of the sphenoid below the infratemporal crest, and by the under surface of the temporal squama

* "inferiorly", by the alveolar border of the maxilla

* "medially", by the lateral pterygoid plate

* "laterally", by the ramus of mandible

it has no floor

Contents of the infratemporal fossa


* the lower part of the Temporalis muscle
* the Pterygoidei internus and externus (internal and external pterygoid muscle)


The internal maxillary vessles, consisting of the maxillary artery originating from the external carotid artery and its branches.

Internal maxillary branches found within the infratemporal fossa including the
* middle meningeal artery
* inferior alveolar artery
* deep temporal artery
* buccal artery

* pterygoid venous plexus


Mandibular nerve, inferior alveolar nerve, lingual nerve, buccal nerve, chorda tympani nerve, and otic ganglion. [Moore, Keith L & Dalley, Arthur (2006). Clinically oriented anatomy (5th ed.), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.]

Mandibular nerve

* Mandibular nerve which is the third branch of the trigeminal nerve (CN V3), also known as the "inferior maxillary nerve" or "nervus mandibularis", enters infratemporal fossa from middle cranial fossa through foramen ovale.

Motor branches:
* meningeal nerve
* masseteric nerve
* deep temporal nerve
* lateral pterygoid nerve and medial pterygoid nerve
* buccal nerve
* auriculotemporal nerve
* lingual nerve
* inferior alveolar nerve

Its motor fibers innervate all the muscles of mastication plus the mylohyoid, anterior belly of the digastric, and the tensores veli palati and tympani

Sensory innervation:
* auricle
* external acoustic meatus
* tympanic membrane
* temporal region
* cheek
* skin overlying the mandible (except at the angle of the mandible)
* anterior 2/3 of tongue
* floor of mouth
* lower teeth
* gingiva


The foramen ovale and foramen spinosum open on its roof, and the alveolar canals on its anterior wall.

At its upper and medial part are two fissures, which together form a T-shaped fissure, the horizontal limb being named the inferior orbital, and the vertical one the pterygomaxillary.


External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • infratemporal fossa — n a fossa that is bounded above by the plane of the zygomatic arch, laterally by the ramus of the mandible, and medially by the pterygoid plate, and that contains the masseter and pterygoid muscles and the mandibular nerve …   Medical dictionary

  • infratemporal fossa — noun : a fossa in man and some other vertebrates bounded above by the plane of zygomatic arch, laterally by the ramus of the mandible, and medially by the pterygoid plate, and lodging the masseter and pterygoid muscles and the mandibular nerve …   Useful english dictionary

  • infratemporal crest — n a transverse ridge on the outer surface of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone that divides it into a superior portion that contributes to the formation of the temporal fossa and an inferior portion that contributes to the formation of the… …   Medical dictionary

  • Infratemporal crest — Infobox Bone Name = Infratemporal crest Latin = crista infratemporalis GraySubject = 35 GrayPage = 150 Caption = Sphenoid bone. Anterior and inferior surfaces. (Infratemporal crest labeled at center left.) Caption2 = System = Precursor = MeshName …   Wikipedia

  • fossa infratemporalis — [TA] infratemporal fossa: the area on the side of the cranium limited superiorly by the infratemporal crest, posteriorly by the mandibular fossa, anteriorly by the infratemporal surface of the maxilla, and laterally by the zygomatic arch and part …   Medical dictionary

  • Infratemporal surface of the body of the maxilla — Infobox Bone Name = Infratemporal surface of the body of the maxilla Latin = facies infratemporalis corporis maxillae GraySubject = 38 GrayPage = 158 Caption = Left maxilla. Outer surface. Caption2 = Precursor = System = Artery = Vein = Nerve =… …   Wikipedia

  • infratemporal region — the area of the head on either side, about the infratemporal fossa …   Medical dictionary

  • fossa — A depression usually more or less longitudinal in shape below the level of the surface of a part. [L. a trench or ditch] acetabular f. [TA] a depressed area in the floor of the acetabulum superior to the …   Medical dictionary

  • infratemporal — Below the temporal fossa. * * * in·fra·tem·po·ral .in frə tem p(ə )rəl adj situated below the temporal fossa * * * in·fra·tem·po·ral (in″frə temґpə rəl) inferior to the temple or temporal fossa; called also subtemporal …   Medical dictionary

  • Posterior cranial fossa — Base of the skull. Upper surface. The Posterior cranial fossa is labeled in green. Latin fossa cranii posterior Gray s …   Wikipedia

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