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Anterior Perspective of the Orbital Apex

Surgical Correlation


Anterior view of orbital apex in coronal section. The optic nerve (cranial nerve II) and the ophthalmic artery pass through the optic canal in the lesser wing of sphenoid to enter the orbital apex. Several of the extraocular muscles arise here and diverge as they extend to the sclera of the eyeball. The greater wing of sphenoid forms the posterior orbit and the sphenoid sinus is located within the body of sphenoid. The roof of the sinus borders on the sellar region containing the pituitary gland. The maxilla forms the floor of the orbit and directly inferior to the orbits lie the maxillary sinuses. The infraorbital nerve runs within a groove in the inferior orbit and passes through the maxillary sinus to exit the infraorbital foramen. The vomer articulates in the midline with the inferior surface of the body of the sphenoid and forms the posterior edge of the nasal septum.  (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)