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Inferolateral View of Bony Anatomy of the Skull Base

Surgical Correlation


Inferolateral view of bony anatomy of the skull base. The clivus of the occipital bone comprises the anterior foramen magnum. The petrous temporal bones articulate with the clivus in the petroclival fissure, where the inferior petrosal sinus runs.  The jugular foramen is formed by the junction of the occipital and petrous bones. The internal acoustic canal is entirely within the petrous bone. The right hypoglossal canal is visible just superior to the right occipital condyle. The styloid process runs anteroinferior just medial to the mastoid tip, and is visible on the right side of this image. The vomer is a thin, unpaired midline bone within the nasal cavity and is surrounded laterally by the medial and lateral pterygoid plates, which together are termed the pterygoid processes, which articulate with the hard palate. The hard palate is comprised of the palatine processes of the maxilla anteriorly and the horizontal plates of the palatine bone posteriorly. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)