Microsurgical Anatomy of Stapedius Muscle: Anatomy Revisited, Redefined with Potential Impact in Surgeries

  • K. C. Prasad
  • S. M. Azeem Mohiyuddin
  • P. K. AnjaliEmail author
  • T. R. Harshita
  • G. Indu Varsha
  • H. S. Brindha
Original Article


Stapedius muscle even though being the smallest skeletal muscle in human body, it 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 a 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 programme to have a clear idea of the anatomy of stapedius muscle, its origin, attachment, extension, size (all dimensions). Length of the stapedius muscle varied between 9 and 11 mm. Stapedial tendon measured about 2 mm. The muscle had a classical sickle shape with tendon looking like the handle of the sickle. It has a bulky belly with a maximum breadth of 2–3 mm. It was found to be medial to midportion of vertical limb of facial nerve. All of our temporal bones measured size varied from 9 to 11 mm in length excluding stapedial tendon. Stapedial tendon measured almost 2 mm. Muscle is classical sickle shaped with tendon acting like the handle of the sickle. It has a bulky tummy which forms the maximum breadth of 1–3 mm. Why to have a clear idea about the anatomy of stapedius muscle is that, unless the anatomy is clear there is chance of confusing the muscle with that of facial nerve while doing facial nerve grafting and also while drilling for facial nerve decompression in experienced hands may get confused and decompress the muscle. Stapedius muscle said to be the smallest muscle in the body, but its 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.


Stapedius muscle Revisit to anatomy Redefining stapedius muscle Relationship of stapedius muscle to facial nerve 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

Ethical committee clearance taken from the respective university.


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Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. C. Prasad
    • 1
  • S. M. Azeem Mohiyuddin
    • 1
  • P. K. Anjali
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. R. Harshita
    • 1
  • G. Indu Varsha
    • 1
  • H. S. Brindha
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ENT and Head and Neck SurgerySri Devaraj URS Medical CollegeTamaka, KolarIndia

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