Temporal fossa Anatomy, Contents And Pathology

The temporal fossa is a shallow depression on the temporal lines and one of the be massive marks on the skull. The occipital bones, including, temporal bone, sphenoid bone,  parietal bone and the frontal bone put up to its concave wall. It is superior to the infratemporal fossa and terminating beneath the level of the zygomatic arch.

temporal fossa

Temporal Fossa Anatomy:

However, including superiorly and posteriorly the temporal fossa is bordered by the superior temporal line. The inferior border moves with the aid of zygomatic arch. Finally, the anterior border is land-marked by the frontal process of the zygoma and as the frontal bone.

Temporal Fossa Content:

Temporal muscle:

The temporal muscle, also called as temporalis, is a smooth, fan-shaped muscle of mastication found on the back side of the skull. Due to its small size, it can be palpated without any issue, particularly when the patient gradually opens and shuts his mouth. It emerges from the temporal fossa, an enormous depression on the lateral side of the skull, and the temporal fascia which fully covers the surface of the muscle. From there, the muscle descends via the massive gap in between the zygomatic arch and the lateral side of the skull, makes a thick tendon and uses the process (coronoid) of the mandible. The temporalis is innervated by the temporal nerves branching off from the mandibular nerve located at the zygomatic arch.


The temporalis is the most strong muscle of the temporomandibular joint. Functionally, the muscle can be separated into a couple of parts: The anterior portion runs almost vertically and helps to move the mandible forward. Conversely the fibers of the back part course on a level plane and force the mandible in reverse (retrusion). The actuation of both muscles moves the mandible dorsocranially prompting a solid jaw closure (rise).


The tension of the temporal muscle can put huge pain in the temple portion. Prominent reasons are misalignments of the jaws, trauma with a lengthy immobilization. Teeth grinding (bruxism), during which the person’s mouth had to be open for a prolonged period, may also trigger muscle tension. Clinically, it is very important to rule out an inflammation of the superficial temporal artery, which moves in front of the ear with the zygomatic arch to approach the temple area. Vasculitides, likewise giant cell arteritis, frequently involve the superficial temporal artery and may result in swelling and deadly pain in the temple portion of the skull. The treatment can be confirmed via a temporal artery biopsy.

External carotid artery:

The external carotid artery is one of the prominent divisions of the primary carotid artery. It stems from the aortic arch located on the top left side and from the brachiocephalic artery on the right portion. It runs the lateral sides of the neck within almost the carotid sheath; that is found in the sternocleidomastoid muscle (a powerful muscular). The carotid bifurcation begins at the level of the thyroid cartilage present in the larynx. The external carotid artery is the almost only division of the common carotid that throws branches to the neck portion and provides the external structures of the head and face.


Medially the hyoid bone, the mass of the pharynx, the unrivaled laryngeal nerve and the parotid gland encompass the course. Horizontally, the inner carotid supply route goes by in the initial phase of the outer carotid artery, alongside the unrivaled laryngeal nerve posteroinferiorly.

Posterosuperior, the internal and external branches of the carotid that are divided by the styloglossus muscle, the stylopharyngeus muscle, the glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX), the pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve (CN X) and lastly a prominent of the parotid gland (a posterior gland). Anteriorly, the artery is sheathed by the skin, the superficial fascia, the platysma, the deep cervical fascia and as well the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

The nerves, vasculature and musculature that pass over the external carotid artery while its course include the hypoglossal nerve (CN XII), the lingual nerve, the ranine nerve, the common facial nerve, the superior thyroid veins, the digastric muscle, the stylohyoid muscle, the parotid gland, the deep facial nerve, the temporal and lastly the internal maxillary veins.


Carotid artery infection is a disorder of the normal carotid artery or both of its primary divisions. It happens when plaque like developments begin to shape in these vital arteries and breaking point the measure of blood that streams to the head and neck locale. This disease can turn out to be to a great degree serious because it can cause ischemia to vital organs, for example, the mind and it likewise builds the danger of clump development. An ideal approach to treating furthermore keep away from the development of blood vessel plaque is to minimize the risk of it framing in any case by eating a sound and all around adjusted eating routine, taking part in the standard physical action and dodging circumstances where constant anxiety is a major point.


The Temporal fossa composes four branches from a couple of different nerve bundles. The terminal branches further include a branch of the mandibular nerve (V3), the anterior and posterior branches of the deep temporal nerve, the auriculotemporal nerve and also having temporal branches of the facial nerve.

Mandibular Branch of the Trigeminal Nerve:

The Trigeminal Nerve is the 5th of the 12 cranial nerves. It composes of each afferent and efferent motoric and sensory fibers as well proprioceptive, sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers that are separated into significant three branches: the ophthalmic nerve, the maxillary nerve, and the mandibular nerve respectively. The term afferent means a move towards the center portion, as in from a peripheral area of a limb via the central nervous system. On the other side, the word efferent is entirely opposite of afferent, meaning away from the center and toward the periphery; when the stimulus is moved back to the brain via the peripheral portion. The 3rd and the last division of the trigeminal nerve are the mandibular nerve. This climax portion innervates the lower third of the face that incorporates the lower lip, the jaw, the preauricular area and the temporal area separately.

Hi, This is Hamza Khan from Peshawar, Pakistan. I am a 2nd prof MBBS Student at Bannu Medical College and a hobby Blogger. The Purpose of this site is to share my knowledge and Guide new Medical Students.

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