Original Editor - Manisha Shrestha Top Contributors - Manisha Shrestha and Kim Jackson

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Anterior neck showing Stylohoid muscle
Stylohyoid muscle

It is one of the suprahyoid muscle which is located in the submandibular region. It is a small slender muscle, lies on the upper border of posterior digastrics muscle. As its name suggests, it runs from base of the skull to hyoid bone.[1]

Origin[edit | edit source]

It arises by a small tendon from the posterior surface of the styloid process, near its base.[2]

Insertion[edit | edit source]

Passing downward and forward, it inserts into the body of the hyoid bone at its junction with the greater cornua (and just above the attachment of the superior belly of omohyoid).

It is perforated near its insertion by the intermediate tendon of digastrics muscles.[1]

Action[edit | edit source]

  • elevates the hyoid bone and draws it backwards, elongating the floor of the mouth.
  • with other hyoid muscles, it fixes the hyoid bone
  • along with other suprahyoid muscles , it functions during chewing, swallowing, and phonetics.[2][3]

Nerve supply[edit | edit source]

Stylohyoid is innervated by the stylohyoid branch of the facial nerve.[2]

Vascular supply[edit | edit source]

Stylohyoid receives its blood supply from branches of the facial, posterior auricular and occipital arteries (branches of the external carotid artery)[2][3]

Clinical relevance[edit | edit source]

  • For Marginal Mandibular Nerve Palsy, stylohyoid muscle transfer is a possible second surgical option whereas the digastric muscle is the most preferred option. [4]
  • Eagle syndrome: It also known as the stylohyoid syndrome which occurs due to the partial ossification of ligament of stylohyoid. It results in sharp shooting pain unilaterally in the jaw. The pain may radiate into the throat, tongue, or ear, which causes difficulty in deglutition, sore throat, and tinnitus. For its management, surgical resection of the ligament is required as it compresses the underlying structures.


  • Stylohyoid muscle is supplied by facial nerve. The facial nerve has a significant contribution to the oropharyngeal phase of deglutition through various muscles. Paralysis or weakness of the stylohyoid may occur if the facial nerve gets damaged causing difficulty in swallowing.
  • Pathologic conditions associated with the stylohyoid muscle may result in cervical and pharyngeal symptoms such as neck pain laterally in the area of the angle of the mandible, submandibular space, and anterior upper neck. The pain may get exacerbated by movements such as speaking, swallowing, yawning, or head-turning.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gray H. Anatomy of the human body. Lea & Febiger; 1878. 41st edition.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Chaurasia BD. Human anatomy. CBS Publisher; 2004. Regional and Applied; Dissection and Clinical. Volume 3: Head, neck and brain
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jain P, Rathee M. Anatomy, head and neck, stylopharyngeus muscles.
  4. Ozturk MB, Ertekin C, Uzuneyupoglu O, Tezcan M. Stylohyoid muscle transfer in marginal mandibular nerve palsy. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. 2018 Nov 1;29(8):e762-4.
  5. Eagle's Syndrome and Ernest Syndrome - When is Prolotherapy the ideal option?. Available from: last accessed: 2021-07-24