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Study the orientation of the facial nerve within the temporal bone (Figure 30.5). The facial nerve is composed of a motor root and a sensory root (nervus intermedius). The separate roots may be visible within the internal auditory canal. Near the most lateral end of the internal canal, identify the geniculate ganglion of the facial nerve (Figure 30.5 , Figure 30.6). Nerve fibers that pass anteriorly and medially from the geniculate ganglion are fibers of the greater petrosal nerve. The facial nerve fibers that appear to pass posteriorly and laterally are fibers of the main trunk of the facial nerve.
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