Stylopharyngeus muscle

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 1 Feb 2020

The stylopharyngeus muscle is in the head and neck region, and one of the inner longitudinal muscles of the pharynx.

It originates from the medial aspect of the styloid process at the base of the temporal bone where it is cylindrical in shape.

It courses inferiorly adjacent to the pharynx where it flattens out, passing between the superior and middle pharyngeal constrictor muscles. A few fibers merge with the lateral glossoepiglottic fold and the constrictor muscles. Other fibers join the palatopharyngeus muscle to attach onto the posterior border of the thyroid cartilage.

  • venous drainage: via veins corresponding to the named arteries

The muscle receives motor innervation from the glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX).

  • elevation of the larynx and pharynx
  • deglutition

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