This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Pterygoid muscle (medial, anatomy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Bilaterally, the medial pterygoid is one of the muscles of mastication. It originates from two sites:

  • superficial head from the pyramidal process of the palatine bone and the tuberosity of the maxilla
  • deep head from the medial surface of the lateral pterygoid plate and the fossa separating this and the medial plate

From these origins, muscle fibres pass inferiorly, laterally and posteriorly. They insert into the medial surface of the angle of the mandible posterior to the mylohyoid groove.

Innervation is from the nerve to medial pterygoid, a branch of the mandibular nerve (Vc).

Medial pterygoid has several actions:

  • elevation of the mandible
  • protraction of the mandible when medial and lateral pterygoid muscles contract bilaterally
  • displacement of the mandible to the contralateral side when the just the ipsilateral medial and lateral pterygoid muscles contract

It has a key role in mastication.

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page