Lateral pterygoid muscle and its relation with the temporomandibular joint
Έξω πτερυγοειδής μυς και η σχέση του με την κροταφογναθική διάρθρωση
Introduction: The lateral pterygoid muscle (LPM), more specifically its superior head is closely related to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and may play a role in the etiology of temporomandibular disorders. A hyperactivity of this muscle has been incriminated for the anterior disc displacement. There is, however, confusion with respect the LPM attachment type to the disc-condyle complex. Aim: The aim of this anatomic study was to investigate the exact attachment of the superior head of the LPM to the disc-condyle complex of the TMJ.Material and method: We used 36 specimens of 18 Greek cadavers (8 males and 10 females, mean age 79.6 years). Examination of the attachment of the superior head of the LPM was carried out with macroanatomical method, under the dissecting microscope.Results: Variation in the attachment of the superior head of the LPM was categorized into 3 types: In type I, the superior head inserted into the condyle and the disc-capsule complex (55.5%). In type II, the superior head inserted into the condyle (27.8%). In type III, the superior head inserted wholly into the disc-capsule complex (16.7%). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that there is a variable attachment of the superior head of the LPM to the disc-condyle complex.