The tympanic muscles

The tympanic muscles

Description : Two tiny muscles, the tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle insert into the ossicular chain.

The tensor tympani muscle, which is innervated by a branch of the mandibular division of the trigerninal nerve (V), is inserted into the upper end of the malleus handle. Contraction of the tensor tympani muscle pulls the malleus and tympanic membrane medially.

The body of the stapedius muscle, which is innervated by a branch of the facial nerve (VII), is completely enclosed within a bony pyramid, with its tendon emerging to be inserted into the posterior aspect of the head of the stapes. The stapedius tendon can occasionally be seen through a posterior perforation of the tympanic membrane. Contraction of the stapedius muscle tilts the stapes footplate in the oval window, decreasing its mobility.

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