Infraorbital nerve

Last revised by Arlene Campos on 12 Feb 2024

The infraorbital nerve is a branch of the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve.  

The infraorbital nerve divides off the maxillary division in the pterygopalatine fossa just after it gives off the the posterior superior alveolar nerve. It courses laterally over the palatine bone and maxilla to enter the orbit through the inferior orbital fissure. It then runs anteriorly in the inferior aspect of the extraconal space within the infraorbital groove. Within the groove, it gives off sensory branches inferiorly to the maxillary sinus and teeth

The main trunk continues through the infraorbital canal within the floor of the orbit anteriorly, before emerging in the face through the infraorbital foramen lying between levator labii superioris and levator anguli oris muscles.

After emerging from the infraorbital foramen, it gives off three groups of terminal branches:

  • palpebral branches

  • nasal branches

  • superior labial branches

These branches supply the skin of the medial cheek, lateral nose and upper lip, the mucosa of the anteroinferior nasal septum and oral mucosa of upper lip.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: orbital apex diagram
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  • Figure 2: V2 branches
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  • Figure 3: maxillary and mandibular divisions of the trigeminal nerve (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 4: trigeminal nerve cutaneous distribution (Gray's anatomy)
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