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Left Lateral Posterosuperior View of Dry Skull

Surgical Correlation


Left lateral posterosuperior view of dry skull. The lateral orbital wall is formed by the zygomatic bone. The superolateral margin of the orbit is contributed by the frontal bone and the floor is formed by the maxilla. The space between the zygomatic arch and side of skull is largely filled by the temporalis muscle. Looking down into this space one can see the posterior wall of the maxilla covering the maxillary sinus, and a portion of the lateral plate of the pterygoid process. The thin bone at the side of the skull is the greater wing of the sphenoid which extends medially to form much of the floor of the middle cranial fossa. Several openings are found within the greater wing, including the foramen rotundum for the maxillary nerve, the foramen ovale for the mandibular and lesser petrosal nerves, and the foramen spinosum for the middle meningeal artery. The superior orbital fissure is a space between the lesser and greater wings and connects the middle fossa to the orbit. The foramen lacerum is a space between the greater wing, the clivus, and the petrous apex of the temporal bone. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)