3D Ear

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

Nerves

Two nerves pass through the cavity of the middle ear: the horizontal portion of the facial nerve and a recurrent branch of the facial nerve, the chorda tympani.

Labeled image of ossicles and nerves

Facial Nerve

The horizontal portion of the facial nerve (seventh cranial nerve), covered by mucosa, passes just superior to the footplate of the stapes, forming a prominence that is visible within the middle ear.

Chorda Tympani

The chorda tympani is a recurrent branch of the facial nerve. It traverses the tympanic cavity in a posterior-to-anterior direction. The chorda tympani passes just medial to the neck of the malleus. It innervates the submandibular gland and the anterior 2/3 of the tongue (carrying taste information).

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