At the time of removal of the elongated styloid process in this case, nerve fibers were noted to be tightly adherent to the styloid, and microscopic study confirmed the presence of nerve fibers in the resected specimen. Since the glossopharyngeal nerve normally occupies the position behind the styloid process and usually curves around it, it was assumed that this nerve had been at least partially avulsed; however, it should not have been implied that the glossopharyn- geal nerve itself carries motor fibers to the muscles of the soft palate. The tensor veli palatini muscle derives its innervation from a branch of the fifth cranial nerve and all other motor fibers to the soft palate are derived from fibers of the 11th cranial nerve which join the vagus and run within the pharyngeal plexus. The close proximity of this plexus to the glossopharyngeal nerve and to the styloid make it likely
MABRY RL. Symptomatic Elongated Styloid-Reply. Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(5):429. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010441021
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