3D Ear

Overview > Ossicles > Tympanic Membrane > Tendons > Nerves > Inner Ear

Labeled image of the tympanic membrane and ossicles

Tympanic Membrane

The tympanic membrane (TM) is an oval, semi-transparent membrane that separates the external and middle ears. The orientation of the TM is slightly oblique to the sagittal plane; the TM is roughly conical, pointing medially. The handle of the malleus is attached to the medial aspect of the TM. The TM is divided into two parts: the pars flaccida (the portion superior to the insertion of the manubrium) and the pars tensa. The point at which the inferior end of the manubrium inserts into the TM is called the umbo.

The TM moves in response to air vibrations, which are then transmitted via the ossicles to the inner ear. The external surface of the TM is innervated mainly by the auriculotemporal nerve.

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