Supratrochlear and supraorbital nerves: An anatomical study and applications in the head and neck area

Petros Konofaos, Miguel A. Soto-Miranda, Jon Ver Halen, James C. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND:: This article elucidates the anatomical details of the course and territory of the supraorbital (SO) and supratrochlear (ST) nerves. Possible applications of the SO and ST nerves for sensory nerve transfer are also examined. METHODS:: The dissection of 3 fresh cadaver heads (6 hemifaces) was performed. In each hemiface, the ST and SO nerves were identified. The following data were recorded: 1) number of branches, 2) skin boundaries, 3) communicative branches, and 4) branch length. The feasibility of specific nerve-transfer procedures was also examined. RESULTS:: In 4 hemifaces the SO nerve exited from the SO notch and in 2 hemifaces from the SO foramen. The position was lateral to the midline, with a mean distance of 1.93 cm. In all dissections, a maximum of 4 SO branches (range 2-4) were identified. The ST nerve exited the orbital rim medial to the SO nerve, and lateral to the midline with a mean distance of 0.866 cm. The mean distance between the SO and ST nerves at the level of the SO rim was 1.06 cm. In 5 of 6 hemifaces, several sub-branches emerged from the main trunk of the ST nerve. In 1 hemiface the ST nerve was divided in 2 main branches. CONCLUSIONS:: The data presented in the current study are in agreement with previous anatomical studies. Both ST and SO nerves can be used as sensory nerve donors in the head and neck area for numerous expanding applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-408
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology


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