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Type: Journal article
Title: Anatomical variation of the sphenomandibular ligament
Author: Garg, A.
Townsend, G.
Citation: Australian Endodontic Journal, 2001; 27(1):22-24
Publisher: Australian Society of Edodontology
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 1329-1947
Abstract: The sphenomandibular ligament, which is derived from the sheath of Meckel's cartilage, is a fibrous structure that passes between the spine of the sphenoid bone and the lingula of the mandible. Although anatomical texts provide basic descriptions of this structure, there are few published reports of the extent of its variability or its possible clinical implications. The aim of this study was to provide a detailed description of the nature and extent of anatomical variability in the sphenomandibular ligament of seven human cadavers. Dissections of sagittally sectioned heads were performed using a medial approach that involved displacement of the tongue and mucosal tissues in the oral cavity and oropharynx, then reflection of the medial pterygoid muscle. The ligaments ranged in shape from thin bands that descended for a short distance from the spine of the sphenoid to broad bi-concave ligaments with prominent insertions. The mylohyoid nerve was seen to pass behind the ligament in all specimens, emerging from the postero-inferior border of the mandibular attachment before running into the mylohyoid groove on the medial surface of the ramus. Lying in the pterygomandibular space, the ligament was surrounded by fascia, both structures presenting potential barriers to the diffusion of local anaesthetic solution if injected medially. The appearance of the lingula also varied, and did not seem to reflect the size of attachment of the ligament, suggesting an alternative explanation of lingula morphology, perhaps related to a continuation of the mylohyoid ridge and anterior border of the mylohyoid groove.
Keywords: Ligaments
Sphenoid Bone
Description: Copyright © 2001 Australian Society of Edodontology
DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-4477.2001.tb00446.x
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