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February 1973

Surgical Anatomy of the Facial Nerve

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
From the Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Medicine, the University of Iowa, Iowa City (Drs. Anson and Shilling); the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Washington, Seattle (Dr. Donaldson); Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago (Dr. Warpeha); and the Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Dr. Rensink).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(2):201-213. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010207026

This report describes the structure of the temporal bone and of the facial nerve in relation to the pathological condition and treatment of Bell's palsy. Although the nerve is relatively avascular in the normal state, the connective tissue layer external to the nerve "sheath" contains a rich arterial supply with its accompanying venous drainage system. In addition, a wealth of vascular channels in the bone brings the contents of the facial canal into close relationship with surrounding tissue of petrous air cells and the mucous membrane that lines the middle ear cavity.