The tensor of the soft palate is a thin, flat, triangular muscle that lies very deeply in the infratemporal fossa, hidden under cover of the medial pterygoid muscle, the mandibular nerve and the middle meningeal vessels. It is, in fact, a muscle of the side wall of the uppermost part of the pharynx and is closely applied to the anterolateral surface of the pharyngotympanic tub.
The tensor palati arises from the floor of the scaphoid fossa, from the spine of the sphenoid, and, between these bony origins, from the lateral surface of the pharyngotympanic tube. Its fibers converge on the lower end of the medial pterygoid plate and end in a slender tendon which turns horizontally, in a groove on the lower surface of the root of the hamulus, into the soft palate. A synovial bursa facilitates the play of the tendon round the hamulus. The tendon expands and fuses with the palatine aponeurosis – a fibrous membrane in the substance of the soft palate. The muscle is supplied by the mandibular nerve through the otic ganglion.
Related category ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
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