Medial pterygoid nerve

The medial pterygoid nerve (or internal pterygoid nerve) is a branch of the mandibular nerve that innervates the medial pterygoid muscle, tensor veli palatini and tensor tympani.[1]

Medial pterygoid nerve
Mandibular division of the trigeminus nerve. (Internal pterygoid nerve visible but not labeled.)
Mandibular division of trifacial nerve, seen from the middle line. Nerve to medial pterygoid labeled at bottom.
FromMandibular nerve
InnervatesMedial pterygoid, tensor veli palatini, tensor tympani
LatinNervus pterygoideus internus
nervus pterygoideus medialis
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy


The nerve to the medial pterygoid muscle is a slender branch of the mandibular nerve which enters the deep surface of the muscle; it gives off one or two filaments to the otic ganglion.

The nerve provides physical support for the otic ganglion, but is neurologically distinct.


Additionally, the tensor veli palatini is innervated by the nerve to tensor veli palatini, a branch of the nerve to the medial pterygoid. Of the five paired skeletal muscles to the soft palate, tensor veli palati is the only muscle not innervated by the pharyngeal plexus.

See also


  1. Tomo, S; Nakajima, K; Tomo, I; Nodai, E; Kobayashi, S (April 1995). "The morphology and innervation of the lateral pterygoid muscle of the dog". Journal of Anatomy. 186: 435–439. PMID 7649845.

This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 894 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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