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Tensor tympani

Other Terms: Eustachian muscle, Musculus tensor tympani, Muscle tenseur du tympan

Muscle parts

None

Latin name

Musculus tensor tympani

Latin muscle parts

None

Group

Branchial arch muscle – first arch (Muscle of auditory ossicles)

Etymology

The English name for this muscle is the muscle that stretches the drum. The word tensor comes from the Latin verb tendere meaning “to stretch.” The word tympani is from the Greek tympanon, which means the “drum.”

Origin

Cartilaginous wall of the pharyngotympanic tube and the adjacent surface of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone

Insertion

Base of the handle of the malleus on the medial side

Action

Pulls the malleus and tympanic membrane medially thus pushing the stapes into the oval window; actions help dampen loud sounds.

Nerve supply

Mandibular branch of trigeminal nerve (Cranial nerve V)

Blood supply

After entering the cranial vault the middle meningeal artery from the first part of the maxillary artery gives off a small branch, the superior tympanic artery, that runs in the canal for the tensor tympani and supplies the muscle.

Latin

Musculus tensor tympani

French

Muscle tenseur du tympan

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