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The Skull - Cranium

Bones and Markings of the Cranium

QuestionAnswer
Frontal Bone Forms the ant. cranium, articulates post. w/ parietal bones via coronal suture.
Coronal Suture Suture formed by the articulation of the parietal and frontal bones.
Frontal Squama Commonly known as the forehead, the most ant. part of the frontal bone. Ends at the supraorbital margins
Supraorbital Margins The thickened superior margins of the orbits that lie under the eyebrows.
Anterior Cranial Fossa Formed chiefly by the frontal and sphenoid bones, supports the frontal lobes of the brain.
Supraorbital Foramen (Notch) Pierces the supraorbital margin superior to each orbit, allows passage of the supraorbital artery and nerve to the forehead.
Glabella Smooth portion of the frontal bone between the two orbits.
Frontal Sinuses Located within the frontal bone and located laterally to the glabella.
Parietal Bones Paired bones that form most of the superior and lateral aspects of the skull, aticulates w/ the frontal (ant.) and occipital (post.)and temporal (laterally).
Sagittal Suture Where the parietal bones meet superiorly at the cranial midline.
Lambdoid Suture Where the parietal bones meet the occipital bone posteriorly.
Squamous Suture Where the parietal and temporal bones meet on the lateral aspect of the skull.
Occipital Bone Forms most of the post. skull wall and base, articulates w/ the parietal and temporal (ant.), and the sphenoid via the cranial floor.
Occipitomastoid Suture Where the occipital bone meets the temporal bone.
Posterior Cranial Fossa Formed by the occipital bone, supports the cerebellum of the brain.
Foramen Magnum Large foramen located in the base of the occipital bone, allows connection of the inferior brain w/ the spinal cord.
Occipital Condyles Flank the foramen magnum laterally, rockerlike in shape, articulate with the C1 to allow nodding of the head.
Hypoglossal Canal Hidden medially and superiorly to the occipital condyles, allow passage of the hypoglossal nerve.
Exterior Occipital Protuberance Just superior to the foramen magnum, felt as a knoblike projection below the most bulging part of the post. skull
External Occipital Crest Marks the occipital near the foramen magnum, secures the ligamentum nuchae.
Ligamentum Nuchae Elastic ligament that connects the vertebrae of the neck to the skull via the external occipital crest.
Superior and Inferior Nuchal Lines Mark the occipital bone near the foramen magnum, provide anchor sites for many neck and back muscles.
Temporal Bones Lie inferor to parietal, form the inferolateral aspects of the skull and parts of the cranial floor.
Four Regions of the Temporal Bone Squamous, tympanic, mastoid, petrous
Squamous Region (Temporal Bone) Abuts the squamous suture, contains the zygomatic process.
Zygomatic Process Barlike bony process, extends from the sqamous region of temporal to meet the zygomatic bone.
Zygomatic Arch Formed by the zygomatic process and the zygomatic bone, felt as the projection of the cheek.
Mandibular Fossa Located on the inferior surface of the zygomatic process, receives the condyle of the mandible to form the temporomanidibular joint.
Tympanic Region (Temporal Bone) Surrounds the external acoustic meatus
External Acoustic Meatus Commonly known as the external ear canal, opening through which sound enters.
Styloid Process Needlelike process located below the external acoustic meatus, provides attachment point for tongue and neck muscles.
Mastoid Region (Temporal Bone) Located post. to the tympanic region, contains the mastoid process
Mastoid Process Anchoring site for some neck muscles, can be felt as a lump just post. to ear
Stylomastoid Foramen Located between the styloid and mastoid processes, allows passage of the facial nerve (cranial VII).
Petrous Region (Temporal Bone) Deep part of the bone, contributes to the cranial base, looks like a mountain range between the occipital post. and the sphenoid ant.
Middle Cranial Fossa Formed by the petrous temporal bone and the sphenoid bone, supports the temporal lobes of the brain.
Jugular Forament Located at the junction of the occipital and petrous temporal bone, allows passage of internal jugular vein and 3 cranial nerves.
Carotid Canal Located just ant. to the jugular foramen, allows passage of the internal carotid arteries into the cranial cavity.
Sphenoid Bone Butterfly shaped, spans the width of the middle cranial fossa, "keystone" of the cranium that forms a central wedge that articulates w/ all other cranial bones.
Division of Sphenoid Bone Divided into a central body and 3 pairs of processes, greater wings, lesser wings and pterygoid process.
Sella Turcica "Turk's Saddle", saddle shaped prominence located on the superior surface of the sphenoid body.
Hypophyseal Process Seat of the sella turcica saddle, forms a snug enclosure for the pituitary gland (hypophysis).
Tuberculum Sellae Abuts the hypophyseal fossa anteriorly.
Dorsum Sellae Abuts the hypophyseal fossa posteriorly.
Greater Wings of the Sphenoid Project laterally, form parts of the middle cranial fossa, dorsal walls of the orbits, and external wall of the skull.
Lesser Wings of the Sphenoid Hornlike, form part of the floor of the anterior cranial fossa and medial walls of the orbits.
Anterior Clinoid Processes Termination of the lesser wings of the sphenoid bone, provide anchoring site for securing the brain within the skull.
Pterygoid Process Trough-shaped, project inferiorly from the junction of the sphenoid body and greater wings, anchors pterygoid muscles important in chewing.
Optic Canal Connected by the chiasmatic groove, lie ant. to the sella turcica, allow passage of the optic nerve.
Superior Orbital Fissure Long slit between the greater and lesser wings of the sphenoid, allows passage of cranial nerves III, IV, VI that control eye movement.
Foramen Rotundum Located in the medial part of the sphenoid greater wing, provides passage of the maxillary branch of cranial nerve V.
Foramen Ovale Located post. to the foramen rotundum on the sphenoid greater wing, allows passage of the mandibular branch of cranial nerve V.
Foramen Spinosum Located post. and laterally to the foramen ovale on the sphenoid greater wing, provides passage of the middle meningeal artery.
Ethmoid Bone Located between the sphenoid and nasal bones, most deeply situated bone of the skull, forms most of the bony area between nasal cavity and orbits.
Cribriform Plates Forms the superior surface of the ethmoid bone, help form roof of nasal cavity, punctured by olfactory foramina that allow passage of olfactory nerves.
Crista Galli "Rooster's comb" projects superiorly between cribiform plates of the ethmoid, dura mater attaches and helps secure the brain to the cranial cavity.
Perpendicular Plate Inferior projection of the ethmoid bone, forms superior part of the nasal septum.