The course of the ampullary nerve to the anterior and lateral ampullae was studied using 25 human temporal bones. Sudan Black B staining was applied to decalcified temporal bones in order to stain nerve fibers. After removing the external and middle ear, each temporal bone was divided into four blocks by three parallel planes, making an angle of 45° to the long axis of the stapes footplate or a line along the stapedial tendon. Two planes were in contact with the anterior and posterior margin of the oval window, respectively. The third plane passed through the capitulum of the stapes. Distances from the upper margin of the oval window, to the distal and proximal part of the ampullary nerve, to the facial nerve, and to the utricular macula were measured in the third plane. The thickness of the thinnest part of the wall of the facial canal facing the stapes was also measured. A new surgical approach to the ampullary nerve is discussed.

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