The facial nerve is one of the key cranial nerves with a complex and broad range of functions. Although at first glance it is the motor nerve of facial expression which begins as a trunk and emerges from the parotid gland as five branches see facial nerve branches mnemonic , it has taste and parasympathetic fibers that relay in a complex manner. The facial nerve is the only cranial nerve that may show normal post-contrast enhancement, although this applies only to the labyrinthine segment up to the stylomastoid foramen. Enhancement of the other segments of the facial nerve and other cranial nerves is considered pathologic.
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Neuroanatomy, Cranial Nerve 7 (Facial) - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf
It emerges from the pons of the brainstem , controls the muscles of facial expression , and functions in the conveyance of taste sensations from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue. The facial nerve also supplies preganglionic parasympathetic fibers to several head and neck ganglia. The facial and intermediate nerves can be collectively referred to as the nervus intermediofacialis. The motor part of the facial nerve arises from the facial nerve nucleus in the pons , while the sensory and parasympathetic parts of the facial nerve arise from the intermediate nerve. From the brain stem, the motor and sensory parts of the facial nerve join together and traverse the posterior cranial fossa before entering the petrous temporal bone via the internal auditory meatus. Upon exiting the internal auditory meatus, the nerve then runs a tortuous course through the facial canal , which is divided into the labyrinthine, tympanic, and mastoid segments. The labyrinthine segment is very short, and ends where the facial nerve forms a bend known as the geniculum of the facial nerve genu meaning knee , which contains the geniculate ganglion for sensory nerve bodies.
NCBI Bookshelf. Dominika Dulak ; Imama A. Authors Dominika Dulak 1 ; Imama A. Naqvi 2. It arises from the brain stem and extends posteriorly to the abducens nerve and anteriorly to the vestibulocochlear nerve.
See: Acute Facial Paralysis Evaluation. See: Parotidectomy with Facial Nerve Dissection. See: Botox Injection for Freys Syndrome. Skip to main content.