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The pterygoid fossa is an anatomical term for the fossa formed by the divergence of the lateral pterygoid plate and the medial pterygoid plate of the sphenoid bone.

Pterygoid fossa
Sphenoid bone. Upper and posterior surfaces. (Pterygoid fossa labeled at left.)
Latin Fossa pterygoidea ossis sphenoidalis
TA A02.1.05.046
FMA 84970
Anatomical terms of bone


The lateral and medial pteryoid plates (of the pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone) diverge behind and enclose between them a V-shaped fossa, the pterygoid fossa. This fossa faces posteriorly, and contains the medial pterygoid muscle and the tensor veli palatini muscle.

Pterygoid fossa

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This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 151 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)