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Stapedius

Other Terms: Musculus stapedius, Muscle stapédien

Muscle parts

None

Latin name

Musculus stapedius

Latin muscle parts

None

Group

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

Etymology

The English name for this muscle is the stirrup muscle, because of its distinct resemblance to a stirrup. The Latin word stapes means “stirrup” and is derived from the Latin stares meaning “to stand” and pes meaning “foot.”

Origin

Conical cavity of the pyramidal eminence of the tympanic cavity

Insertion

Posterior side of the stapes neck

Action

The stapedius and tensor tympani work together in a reflexive action to reduce the vibratory activity of the ear ossicles in the response to high intensity sounds. The stapedius muscle pulls the stapes away from the oval window as the tensor tympani attempts to push the stapes into the oval window. These antagonistic actions stabilize the stapes and lessen its vibratory effects at the oval window.

Nerve supply

Facial nerve (Cranial nerve VII)

Blood supply

Carotid branches of the external carotid artery tympanic branch of the petrous part of the internal carotid artery and the anterior tympanic branch of the maxillary artery.

Latin

Musculus stapedius

French

Muscle stapédien

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