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Lateral pterygoid

Other Terms: Musculus pterygoides lateralis, Lateral pterygoid muscle, Musculus pterygoideus lateralis, Muscle ptérygoïdien latéral

Muscle parts

Upper head or superior head; Lower head or inferior head

Latin name

Musculus pterygoideus lateralis

Latin muscle parts

Caput superius; Caput inferius


Branchial arch muscle – first arch (Masticatory muscle)


In English this muscle’s name translates as the wing-shaped muscle on the side. The word pterygoideus comes from the Greek words pteryx meaning “wing” and eidos meaning ‘shape.” The muscle is actually not wing-shaped, but it attaches to the wing-like process of the sphenoid bone. Lateral is from the Latin latus meaning “side.”


Infratemporal crest and adjacent bone of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone (upper head); lateral surface of the lateral plate of the pterygoid process (lower head)


Anterior surface of the mandibular neck on the condylar process; capsule and disc of the temporomandibular joint


Protrudes the mandible; ipsilateral activity assists in rotation of the mandible; regulates the position of the articular disc during both opening and closing movements of the mouth.

Nerve supply

Mandibular branch of trigeminal nerve (Cranial nerve V)

Blood supply

Branches of the maxillary artery supply blood to the muscle, these include the middle meningeal artery, the accessory meningeal artery, which can arise from the maxillary or its middle meningeal branch, and the pterygoid branches from the second part of the maxillary artery.


Musculus pterygoideus lateralis


Muscle ptérygoïdien latéral


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