The Veli Palatini Muscles

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Case description

The soft palate hangs from the back of the hard palate. It forms a mobile flap, whose basis is the palatine aponeurosis, hence the name soft. The palatine aponeurosis is acted upon by attached muscles to alter its shape and position as it closes off the nasopharynx during swallowing.
The tendon of tensor veli palatini arises higher up from the base of the skull around the upper end of the medial pterygoid plate. Its fibers converge to form a thin tendon that turns around the pterygoid hamulus that is located at the lower end of the medial pterygoid plate. The fleshy fibers of the vertical part of the muscle then spread out to form the palatine aponeurosis. The pterygoid haumulus thus acts as a pulley to change the direction of pull of the muscle. The palatine aponeurosis is attached to the posterior border of the hard palate and forms a strong basis for the attachment of the palatine muscles.
Levator palati arises, which elevates the soft palate, should be attached to the upper part of the soft palate in order to be able to elevate it. Levator veli palatine, therefore, extends from the undersurface of the petrous temporal bone and runs downwards and medially to be inserted into the upper surface of the palatine aponeurosis.
Both tensor and levator palati also arise from the cartilaginous part of the auditory tube.


tags: veli palatini muscles soft palate levator palati


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