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Background and Objectives: The branches of the posterior division of the mandibular nerve (MNsP) are the important nerves which supply the infratemporal fossa and oral cavity. Clinically, the nerve entrapment by muscle leads to numbness, pain, or both symptoms in the respective area of nerve distribution. It could also be pain during speaking or oral movements. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the variations of MNsP entrapment by lateral pterygoid muscle (LPM) in Thai embalmed cadavers.
Methods: One hundred hemi-sectioned heads of Thai embalmed cadavers were carefully dissected to observe MNsP distribution and the inner surface of the LPM. The patterns of nerve entrapments were recorded and photographed.
Results: The results showed that the MNsP variation (entrapment) type by LPM (superior head) was found as 9% (9 cases, males=7, females=2).In the rest 91 cases (91%; 91 cases, males=45 and females=46), the patterns of MNsP were found to be normal type and they were not entrapped by superior or inferior head of LPM.
Conclusions: The incidence of MNsP entrapment by superior head of LPM in Thai embalmed cadavers was approximately 9%. This information may support the theory that some cases such as temporomandibular joint syndrome, persistent idiopathic facial pain, and myofascial pain syndrome may result from entrapment neuropathies of MNsP in the infratemporal fossa.
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