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Volume 9 , Issue 1
Winter 1995

Pages 17-23

A literature survey of a hundred years of anatomic and functional lateral pterygoid muscle research


PMID: 7581201

Controversial topics that influence the etiology and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders include anatomy and function of the lateral pterygoid muscle, and the nature of the disc-muscle connection. To explore whether an agreement has been reached among researchers, a literature survey focusing on the structure, performance, and disc-muscle interface of the lateral pterygoid muscle was performed. Eighty-nine original research articles were identified in the Index Medicus information system from 1879 to 1994 by applying the keyword phrase lateral pterygoid muscle. A majority of references (65%) identified two separate parts of the lateral pterygoid muscle as well as insertions into the disc, the capsule, and the condyle. Seventy-five percent of the articles agreed on three major functions. This literature survey revealed a consensus regarding anatomy, function, and disc connection among the majority of the researchers. However, diverging opinions were persistent and could be identified.

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