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Lateral View of Skull and Cervical Spine

Surgical Correlation

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Lateral view of skull and cervical spine. The forehead of the skull is formed by the frontal bone. This bone articulates posteriorly with the parietal bones along the coronal suture. The parietal bones articulate with the occipital bone posteriorly along the lambdoid suture. Lateral to the parietal bone is the temporal bone (at the squamosal suture) consisting in this view of the squamous part, tympanic part, and mastoid part. Projecting from the squamous part is the zygomatic process that unites with a process of the zygoma to form the zygomatic arch. Intervening between the squamous part of temporal and the frontal and zygomatic bones is the greater wing of the sphenoid. The inferior surface of the squamous part posteriorly has a depression, the mandibular fossa, for articulation with the mandibular condyle to form the temporomandibular joint. Posterior to this joint is the external auditory canal within the tympanic part of the temporal bone. Anteriorly, the nasal bones form the bridge of the nose and articulate laterally with the maxillae, which form the central part of the face and floor of the orbit. At the medial corner of the orbit is the lacrimal bone, which possesses a groove for the lacrimal sac. In the cervical region, the course of the vertebral artery is shown traversing the transverse foramina of the C6-C1 vertebrae. The lengthy spinous process of C7 (vertebra prominens) is a landmark element of the cervical spine. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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