For citation purposes: Rossell-Perry P. The zygomatic ligament of the face: a critical review. OA Anatomy 2013 Feb 06;1(1):3.

Critical review

Clinical Anatomy

The zygomatic ligament of the face: a critical review

P Rossell-Perry

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San Martin de Porres University, Schell St No 120 Apt., 1503 Miraflores, Lima, Peru

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The soft tissue of the face covers the underlying bony structures and is supported by ligaments that run from deep within the dermis to the overlying layers of the skin, serving as anchoring units for the face. The zygomatic ligament of the face is an osteocutaneous ligament that originates from the periosteum of the zygoma and/or the anterior and lateral border of the zygomatic arch (posterior to the origin of the zygomaticus minor muscle). It is found inserted into the superficial muscular aponeurotic system which is connected to the dermis of the cheek. This ligament restrains the facial skin against gravitational changes and delineates the anterior border of the cheeks. Attenuation of support from this ligament is responsible for many changes that occur during facial aging. The main application of this anatomical structure is in cosmetic surgery. The surgical correction of the retaining ligaments of the face, plication of the superficial muscular aponeurotic system and repositioning the soft tissues of the face, are all common techniques used in the rejuvenation of the face. An overview of the literature regarding the location of the zygomatic ligament, its important relations and clinical applications are reviewed in this article.


The zygomatic ligament consists of the prezygotmatic space, zygomatic branches of the facial nerve and the zygomaticofacial nerve. The main application of the zygomatic ligament is in cosmetic surgery. Further studies are necessary to establish relationships between the zygomatic ligament and variables such as age, sex, race and other such factors.

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