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Right Lateral View of the Sphenoid Bone

Surgical Correlation


Right lateral view of the sphenoid bone. For orientation, anterior is to the right of the image, inferior is toward the bottom. The greater wing presents as a surface that faces the temporal fossa and one that forms the floor of the middle cranial fossa. In the midline is the body, which contains the sphenoid sinus. Along its posterolateral surface is a groove for the internal carotid artery. Its superior surface features two ridge-like structures, the tuberculum sellae anteriorly and the dorsum sellae posteriorly, and a depression between these, the sella turcica, for the pituitary gland. The lesser wings extend from the body anterolaterally and feature anterior clinoid processes that project posteriorly. Between the lesser and greater wings is a space, the superior orbital fissure. Projecting inferior to the body are the paired pterygoid processes consisting of lateral and medial plates.  (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)