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Anterior View of Sphenoid Bone

Surgical Correlation


Anterior view of sphenoid bone. The sphenoid bone is a singular and key bone in the skull having many foramina and fissures and articulations with several other bones. In this anterior view, the lesser wings are separated from the greater wings by the superior orbital fissure. Centrally, the body of the sphenoid contains the sphenoid sinus. Projecting inferiorly are the paired pterygoid processes consisting of lateral and medial pterygoid processes separated by the pterygoid fissure. In this view, one can see the openings of the foramen rotundum and Vidian canal at the posterior wall of the pterygopalatine fossa for transmission of the maxillary nerve and Vidian nerve, respectively. The medial wall of the infratemporal fossa is bounded by the lateral surface of the lateral pterygoid plate. The roof of the infratemporal fossa is formed by the infratemporal surface and crest of the greater wing. At the roof are the foramen ovale and foramen spinosum (not visible in this view). The inner surface of the greater wing in this perspective serves as part of the lateral wall of the orbit while the external surface bounds part of the temporal fossa. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)