Ligaments of the Ossicles (ligamenta ossiculorum auditus).—The ossicles are connected with the walls of the tympanic cavity by ligaments: three for the malleus, and one each for the incus and stapes.
The anterior ligament of the malleus (lig. mallei anterius) is attached by one end to the neck of the malleus, just above the anterior process, and by the other to the anterior wall of the tympanic cavity, close to the petrotympanic fissure, some of its fibers being prolonged through the fissure to reach the spina angularis of the sphenoid.
The superior ligament of the malleus (lig. mallei superius) is a delicate, round bundle which descends from the roof of the epitympanic recess to the head of the malleus.
The lateral ligament of the malleus (lig. mallei laterale; external ligament of the malleus) is a triangular band passing from the posterior part of the notch of Rivinus to the head of the malleus. Helmholtz described the anterior ligament and the posterior part of the lateral ligament as forming together the axis ligament around which the malleus rotates.
The posterior ligament of the incus (lig. incudis posterius) is a short, thick band connecting the end of the short crus of the incus to the fossa incudis.
A superior ligament of the incus (lig. incudis superius) has been described, but it is little more than a fold of mucous membrane.
The vestibular surface and the circumference of the base of the stapes are covered with hyaline cartilage; that encircling the base is attached to the margin of the fenestra vestibuli by a fibrous ring, the annular ligament of the base of the stapes (lig. annulare baseos stapedis).