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Bony Anatomy of the Orbit

Surgical Correlation


Right anterior view of the bony orbit. Portions of six bones form its pyramidal walls: frontal, ethmoid, palatine, lacrimal, maxilla, zygomatic, and sphenoid. A “V”-shaped space (with the V laying on its side) consisting of the superior and inferior orbital fissures communicate structures from the middle fossa and infratemporal/pterygopalatine fossa, respectively. Two small foramina appear near or in the frontoethmoidal suture; the anterior and posterior ethmoidal foramina. A few millimeters posterior to the posterior ethmoidal foramen is the optic canal. The infraorbital groove begins proximally along the floor of the orbit, near the inferior orbital fissure, and becomes the infraorbital canal before opening at the infraorbital foramen a few millimeters below the inferior margin of the orbit. Nerves and blood vessels traverse these foramina and fissures. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)