Facial Nerve


The pictures and diagrams below show the anatomy of the facial nerve.   These pictures were submitted by Dr. Kedar K.
Adour, M.D. and drawn by Edith Steadman and K K Adour, M.D.

Diagram of the facial nerve and structures it innervates.
  • Tearing --  Lacrimal Gland
  • Taste -- Anterior 2/3 of the Tongue
  • Saliva Production -- Sublingual Gland, Submandibular Gland,
    Nasal and Palatine Gland
  • Muscles of Facial Expression
  • Stapedius Muscle -- A muscle which helps to protect the ear
    from loud noises.
  • Contains a few somatic afferent fibers.

Diagram of innervations of the muscles of facial expression.  The facial nerve exits the stylomastoid foramen and enters the parotid gland.  It then divides into a lower and upper division and further subdivides into five or more branches.

  • Frontalis -- Innervates the Forehead muscles
  • Orbicularis Oculi -- Eyelid muscles
  • Obicularis Oris  - Lip muscles


During ear surgery the facial nerve can be injured.  The nerve travels between the stapes and lateral semicircular canal, then into the mastoid cavity.  It exits the mastoid cavity via the stylomastoid foramen and enters the parotid gland. 
Mastoid surgery (mastoidectomy) to remove cholesteatoma carries a risk of facial paralysis.

FacialNerve.jpg (53412 bytes)

  The picture on the left
  shows the facial nerve
  in the
middle ear cavity.

The diagram on the right shows the blood supply of the facial nerve. 







Website last updated:  08/18/2017






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