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Superior View of the Right Tympanic Cavity Following Bony Removal of its Roof

Surgical Correlation

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Superior view of the right tympanic cavity following bony removal of its roof. In this perspective, the three ossicles (malleus, incus, and stapes) are in view along with their muscle attachments. The tensor tympani muscle leaves the medial wall of this cavity and extends laterally to attach to the handle of the malleus. The stapedius muscle tendon, emerging from the summit of the pyramidal eminence (on the posterior wall of this cavity), attaches to the neck of the stapes. The meatal portion of the facial nerve can be observed within the internal auditory canal before ending at the geniculate ganglion. From here, the greater superficial petrosal branch arises and courses anteriorly while the main trunk courses posteriorly along the medial wall of the tympanic cavity as the tympanic segment of the facial nerve. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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