The nerve supply of the human auricle

Clin Anat. 2002 Jan;15(1):35-7. doi: 10.1002/ca.1089.


Knowledge of the innervation of the outer ear is crucial for surgery in this region. The aim of this study was to describe the system of the auricular nerve supply. On 14 ears of seven cadavers the complete course of the nerve supply was exposed and categorized. A heterogeneous distribution of two cranial branchial nerves and two somatic cervical nerves was found. At the lateral as well as the medial surface the great auricular nerve prevails. No region with triple innervation was found.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cervical Plexus / anatomy & histology
  • Ear, External / anatomy & histology
  • Ear, External / innervation*
  • Facial Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Trigeminal Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Vagus Nerve / anatomy & histology