Pterygoid hamulus bursitis: one cause of craniofacial pain

J Prosthet Dent. 1996 Feb;75(2):205-10. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3913(96)90100-6.


Craniofacial pain disorders are frustrating to the doctor and the patient. Diagnosis is often difficult because the anatomy of the head and neck region is complex, grossly and neurologically. Frequently, several pain syndromes exhibit similar symptoms. One such disorder is bursitis of the pterygoid hamulus. This type of bursitis may produce symptoms of soft palatal, ear, and throat pain, maxillary pain, and difficulty and pain on swallowing. This disorder is often misdiagnosed as otitis media. Treatment may be conservative or surgical. This article discusses the anatomy, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of bursitis of the hamular process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bursitis / complications*
  • Bursitis / diagnosis
  • Bursitis / therapy
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Earache / etiology
  • Facial Pain / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Maxillary Diseases / etiology
  • Pharyngitis / etiology
  • Sphenoid Bone / anatomy & histology
  • Sphenoid Bone / pathology*
  • Syndrome