Revision 15 for 'Pterygoid processes'

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Pterygoid processes

The pterygoid processes are paired inferior structures of sphenoid bone.

Gross anatomy

Each pterygoid process projects inferiorly from the junction of the body and greater wing of the sphenoid bone and bifurcates into a medial pterygoid plate and a lateral pterygoid plate.

Relations

The spaces separated the medial and lateral plate are pterygoid fissure inferiorly and pterygoid fossa posterior-superiorly. The lateral aspect of the lateral pterygoid plate forms the medial wall of the infratemporal fossa. The root of the pterygoid process forms the posterior wall of the pterygopalatine fossa. The anterior opening of the pterygoid canal also sits on the anterior aspect of the root of the pterygoid process.

Attachments
Musculotendinous

Related pathology

Pterygoid plates are important in diagnosing midface fractures. In Le Fort classification of midface fracture, the involvement of pterygoid plates is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

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