Lateral pterygoid nerves

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 27 Jul 2022

The lateral pterygoid nerves or nerves to lateral pterygoid muscle are a pair of motor branches of the anterior division of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve.

Gross anatomy

The two nerves divide off the anterior division and course along side the buccal nerve. Each nerve then pierces one of the two heads of the lateral pterygoid muscle and supplies them.

Variant anatomy

Some authors describe a single nerve supplying the muscle, dividing into branches that supply the two heads separately.

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