Modiolus is a dense, compact, mobile fibromuscular structure, reachable by the dissection of buccolabial musculature. We undertook this study to provide detailed information about the macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of modiolus and its 3-dimensional (3-D) shape.
Fifteen micrometer thick serial sections were taken from the fixed cadaveric tissue samples and then stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and Massons' trichrome stain. Stained sections were photographed digitally and images were transferred to computer medium to perform 3-D reconstruction. The study was carried out in the dissection lab of the Anatomy Department of Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey between 2002 and 2003.
The modiolus appears to be a tortuous, blunt conelike structure, extending vertically from the buccal mucosa to the dermis of the skin. The base of the cone is adjacent to the mucosa.
As the structure has great clinical importance, and satisfactory complete 3-D analysis of the subject is not yet available; we believe that our study presenting the histological and 3-D description of the modiolus will be of great help to surgeons for satisfactory esthetic and functional results during surgical operations related to the oral commissure.