Which muscles are innervated by the facial nerve in Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

The fibers of the facial nerve then course around the sixth cranial nerve nucleus and exit the pons at the cerebellopontine angle. The fibers go through the internal auditory canal along with the vestibular portion of the eighth cranial nerve.

The facial nerve passes through the stylomastoid foramen in the skull and terminates into the zygomatic, buccal, mandibular, and cervical branches. These nerves serve the muscles of facial expression, which include the frontalis, orbicularis oculi, orbicularis oris, buccinator, and platysma muscles. Other muscles innervated by the facial nerve include the stapedius, stylohyoid, posterior belly of the digastric, occipitalis, and anterior and posterior auricular muscles. All muscles innervated by the facial nerve are derived from the second branchial arch. See the images below.

The facial nerve. The facial nerve.
The facial nerve. The facial nerve.

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