The pterygospinous and pterygoalar ligaments and their relationship to the mandibular nerve: Application to a better understanding of various forms of trigeminal neuralgia

Joe Iwanaga, William Clifton, Robert F. Dallapiazza, Yusuke Miyamoto, Noritaka Komune, Henry A. Gremillion, Aaron S. Dumont, R. Shane Tubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Ossification of the pterygospinous and pterygoalar ligaments has been well documented forming pterygospinous and pterygoalar bars. However, the actual ligaments have been rarely shown in the existing literature. Therefore, this study aimed to reveal the anatomy of the pterygoalar ligament/bar and pterygospinous ligament/bar, and its relationship with the branches of the mandibular nerve. Methods: Thirty sides from fifteen Caucasian fresh frozen cadaveric heads were used in this study. The branches of the mandibular nerve and any ligaments or bony bridges between the lateral plate of the pterygoid process and spine of the sphenoid were observed. Results: A pterygospinous ligament/bar and pterygoalar ligament/bar were defined based on the relationship with the branches of the mandibular nerve. The pterygoalar ligament/bar was further classified into two types. Twenty-seven sides (90%) had at least one pterygoalar ligament/bar or pterygospinous ligament/bar. A pterygospinous ligament/bar was found on 15 sides (50.0%). A pterygoalar ligament/bar was found on 16 sides (53.3%), and a type I on 11 sides and type II on 5 sides. Conclusions: This finding and classification are simple to understand and easy to apply for future studies, and have important implications regarding the clinical anatomy of trigeminal neuralgia and facial pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151466
JournalAnnals of Anatomy
Volume229
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Developmental Biology

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