Microsurgical Anatomy of Stapedius Muscle: Anatomy Revisited, Redefined with Potential Impact in Surgeries
30 September 2019 (online)
Stapedius muscle, even though being the smallest skeletal muscle in human body, has a major role in otology. As many of the distinguished books in otology missed to explain much about stapedius muscle, and also considering the need for the anatomy-based visit to this small muscle, we felt it was important to have an exercise like this. In the dissection hall of our institution, we dissected 32 cadaveric temporal bones and delineated stapedius muscle as a part of PG teaching program to have a clear idea of the anatomy of the stapedius muscle, its origin, attachment, extension, and size (all dimensions). Length of the stapedius muscle varied between 9 and 11 mm, stapedius tendon measured approximately 2 mm. The muscle had a classical sickle shape with tendon looking like a handle of the sickle. It has a bulky belly with a maximum breadth of 1 to 3 mm. Why to have a clear idea about the anatomy of the stapedius muscle is that, unless the anatomy is clear, there is chance of confusing the muscle with facial nerve while doing facial nerve grafting and also while drilling for facial nerve decompression, even in experienced hands who may get confused and decompress the muscle. Stapedius muscle is said to be the smallest in the body but not as small as its been described. Detailed awareness of the anatomy of stapedius muscle is needed so as to avoid confusion while facial nerve grafting and while drilling.