European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 24 - Number 3
Eur J Anat, 24 (3): 249-256 (2020)

Anatomy of the lateral pterygoid muscle and its relationship with temporomandibular disorders. A literature review

Juan José Valenzuela1,3, Mathias Orellana2, Marjorie Gold1, Guernica Garcia1, Andrés Santana3

1University Andrés Bello. Department of Morphology, Faculty of Medicine, Av. Republic 259, Santiago, Chile, 2Department of Morphological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Science, University San Sebastian, Santiago, Chile, 3Health Sciences Faculty, University of the Americas, Providencia Campus, Manuel Montt 948, Santiago, Chile.

ABSTRACT The lateral pterygoid muscle is a chewing muscle that is found bilaterally in the cranial region. Ana-tomically, the lateral pterygoid muscle is made up of two bellies, an upper belly and a lower belly. Its anatomical description present in the scientific lit-erature showed that there is an anatomical differ-ence or variation, mainly the insertions of the up-per belly of the lateral pterygoid muscle at the level of the temporomandibular joint, and specifically in the disc and articular condyle, although distribu-tions are reported similarly. They are not entirely accurate in smaller quantities: some articles re-ported variations in the insertion of the lower belly and others the appearance of a third belly of the lateral pterygoid muscle or medial belly. As men-tioned above, a high number of studies that pre-sented some type of lateral pterygoid muscle vari-ation was associated with some type of temporo-mandibular disorders of the joint or some of its in-tra or extra-articular components. A review of the literature in scientific databases was carried out after the selection of the scientific articles, which were analyzed in full text, and the relationship be-tween the anatomy of the lateral pterygoid muscleand the temporomandibular disorders was sought.

Keywords: Anatomical sciences – Lateral ptery-goid muscle – Temporomandibular joint – Tem-poromandibular dysfunction – Human body

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)