The Spheno-palatine Fossa

The Spheno-Palatine Fossa

This detailed presentation describes the bony, neural and vascular anatomy associated with the spheno-palatine (or pterygo-palatine) fossa.

This region is difficult to visualise and understand, and yet the spheno-palatine ganglion (SPG) alone can be responsible for a number of different symptomatic presentations.

In a 2004 paper on SPG blockade injection, the author states:

…accepted indications for the SPG block are sphenopalatine neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, atypical facial pain, acute migraine, acute and chronic cluster headaches, herpes zoster involving the ophthalmic nerve and a variety of other facial neuralgias

Anatomical understanding of this complex area is imperative when dealing with such presentations, not least the ‘lightning’ pain of trigeminal neuralgia or secreto-motor dysfunction in the nasal mucosa, as in chronic sinusitis.

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1. Windsor, R. E. & Jahnke, S. Report of Technique Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blockade : A Review and Proposed Modification of the Transnasal Technique. 7, 283–286 (2004).

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