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Sphenomandibular ligament

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Title: Sphenomandibular ligament  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: First pharyngeal arch, Temporomandibular joint, Spine of sphenoid bone, Joints of head and neck, Maxillary veins
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sphenomandibular ligament

Sphenomandibular ligament
Articulation of the mandible. Medial aspect. (Spheno-mandibular lig. labeled vertically at center.)
Latin ligamentum sphenomandibulare
spine of sphenoid bone
mandibular foramen
Gray's p.297
Anatomical terminology

The sphenomandibular ligament (internal lateral ligament) is a flat, thin band which is attached superiorly to the spina angularis (spine) of the sphenoid bone, and, becoming broader as it descends, is fixed to the lingula of the mandibular foramen. The function of the sphenomandibular ligament is to limit distension of the mandible in an inferior direction. It is slack when the TMJ is in closed position. It is taut as the condyle of the mandible is in front of the temporomandibular ligament.[1]

Lateral pterygoid and the auriculotemporal nerve are lateral relations, the chorda tympani nerve lies medial near its upper end and medial pterygoid is an inferomedial relation. The sphenomandibular ligament is separated from the neck of the mandible below lateral pterygoid by the maxillary artery and from the ramus of the mandible by the inferior alveolar vessels and nerve and a parotid lobule.[2]

The ligament is derived from Meckel's cartilage.


  1. ^ Berkovitz, Holland, Moxham. Oral Anatomy, Histology and Embryology. 
  2. ^ Grey's Anatomy. 

External links

  • Sphenomandibular%20ligament[ ] from Structural Informatics Group at the University of Washington
  • Anatomy diagram: 25420.000-1 at Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator, Elsevier

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