Interior of skull

The Cranial Fossae
Cranial fossa – curving depression of the cranial floor Anterior cranial fossa formed by: frontal bone, ethmoid, lesser wing of the sphenoid; cradles the frontal lobes of the cerebral hemispheres Middle cranial fossa is formed by: sphenoid, temporal, parietal bones; cradles the temporal lobes of the cerebral hemispheres, the diencephalon, and mesencephalon Posterior cranial fossa is formed primarily by: occipital bone, with contributions from the temporal and parietal bones - suports the occipital lobes of the crebral hemispheres, the crebellum, and the pons and medulla oblongata (brain stem)

The Cranial Fossae

and posterior fossae Crista galli: prominent ridge in center of anterior fossa. Point of attachment for the dura mater (one of the meninges) Olfactory fossae lateral to crista galli. Cribriform plate of the ethmoid .Interior of the Cranial Cavity Cranial cavity: occupied by the brain Calvaria (skull cap): upper dome-like portion of skull Floor divided into anterior. middle. Olfactory bulb within Cribriform plate of the ethmoid forms floor of olfactory fossae Olfactory nerves pass through the foramina of the cribriform plate Sella turcica: part of sphenoid bone that houses the pituitary gland Foramen magnum: opening where brain attaches to spinal cord Anterior cranial Fossa The floor of the anterior fossa is formed by: Orbital plates of the frontal.

by articulation with the ethmoid It transmits a vein from the nose to the superior sagittal sinus . the commencement of the frontal crest for the attachment of the falx cerebri Foramen cecum. The central portion corresponds with the roof of the nasal cavity.small wings and front part of the body of the sphenoid It is limited behind by the posterior borders of the small wings of the sphenoid and by the anterior margin of the chiasmatic groove. in and near the median line. It is traversed by the frontoethmoidal suture sphenoethmoidal suture sphenofrontal sutures. It presents. and is markedly depressed on either side of the crista galli. The frontal crest of the frontal bone ends below in a small notch which is converted into a foramen. from before backward.

formed by the cribriform plate. Transmits the anterior ethmoidal vessels and the anterior ethmoidal nerve Posterior ethmoidal foramen Opens at the back part of this margin under cover of the projecting lamina of the sphenoid transmits the posterior ethmoidal vessels and nerve Middle cranial Fossa Deeper than the preceding. and wide at the sides of the skull. It is bounded in front by the posterior margins of the small wings of the sphenoid. ridge forming the anterior margin of the chiasmatic groove. by the superior angles of the petrous portions of the temporals and the dorsum sella . is narrow in the middle. Supports the olfactory bulb and presents foramina for the transmission of the olfactory nerves. Anterior ethmoidal foramen situated about the middle of the lateral margin of the olfactory groove. the free margin of which affords attachment to the falx cerebri Olfactory groove on either side of the crista galli. ridge behind the foramen cecum.Crista galli. the anterior clinoid processes. behind. In front a slit-like opening for the nasociliary nerve.

which forms the anterior border of a narrow. the tuberculum sellae. It is traversed by the squamosal. sphenoidal angles of the parietals. sphenopetrosal sutures. behind the chiasmatic groove is an elevation. sphenoparietal. Chiasmatic groove The superior surface of the body of the sphenoid bone is bounded behind by a ridge. sphenosquamosal. the chiasmatic groove (optic groove) Tuberculum sella In the sphenoid bone.laterally by the temporal squama. sella turcica . transverse groove. and great wings of the sphenoid.

Medially. and presents on its anterior wall the middle clinoid processes Bounded posteriorly by a quadrilateral plate of bone. Transmits the optic nerve and ophthalmic artery (with accompanying sympathetic nerve fibres) into the orbital cavity. by the great wing. by the body of the sphenoid . and below each is a notch for the abducent nerve On either side of the sella turcica is the carotid groove Optic foramen The optic foramen is the opening to the optic canal. which lodges the hypophysis.Deep depression Behind the tuberculum sella Contains the fossa hypophyseos. the dorsum sella. Behind the optic foramen the anterior clinoid process is directed backward and medialward and gives attachment to the tentorium cerebelli Superior orbital fissure Bounded Above by the small wing Below. upper angles are surmounted by the posterior clinoid processes Gives attachment to the tentorium cerebelli.

From the orbital cavity Recurrent branch from the lacrimal artery to the dura mater. & lesser petrosal nerve Foramen spinosum Posterior & somewhat lateral to foramen ovale Transmits middle meningeal vessels & small meningeal branch of mandibular Foramen lacerum At base of medial pterygoid plate in dried skull Not complete foramen in intact body. abducent nerves. accessory meningeal artery. some filaments from the cavernous plexus of the sympathetic. because its inferior part is covered over by . ophthalmic division of the trigeminal. and the ophthalmic veins Foramen rotundum Behind the medial end of the superior orbital fissure Provides passage for the maxillary nerve. the orbital branch of the middle meningeal artery.Laterally by the orbital plate of the frontal bone. Foramen ovale At base of lateral pterygoid plate Through which passes mandibular nerve. trochlear. Transmits to the orbital cavity oculomotor.

Carotid canal Inferior surface of petrous temporal bone is pierced by round opening. In humans it is approximately 3 centimeters long. across superior (inner or cerebral) surface of which passes internal carotid artery. Facial canal (also known as Fallopian Canal) is a Zshaped canal running through the temporal bone from the internal acoustic meatus to the stylomastoid foramen. Hiatus for greater petrosal nerve (or hiatus of the facial canal) A shallow groove. according to its shape it is divided into three main segments: .fibrocartilaginous plate. leading lateralward and backward to an oblique opening for the passage of the greater superficial petrosal nerve petrosal branch of the middle meningeal artery. coursing within canal. Internal carotid artery. sometimes double. which makes it the longest human osseous canal of a nerve It is located within the middle ear region. immediately takes right angle turn to reach side of foramen lacerum.

Medulla oblongata & its membranes . It is formed by Dorsum sella and clivus of the sphenoid Occipital Petrous and mastoid portions of the temporals Mastoid angles of the parietal bones Crossed by the occipitomastoid suture parietomastoid sutures lodges the cerebellum.the labyrinthine. and the mastoidal segment. pons. Posterior cranial Fossa The posterior fossa is the largest and deepest of the three. Foramen magnum Posterior to basilar portion of occipital bone Transmits . the tympanic.Accessory nerves . and medulla oblongata.

& some meningeal branches from occipital & ascending pharyngeal arteries .Vertebral arteries . & accessory nerves Posterior – sigmoid sinus which leads to internal jugular vein.Anterior & posterior spinal arteries .. vagus.Ligaments connecting occipital bone with axis Hypoglossal canal Courses forward & laterally from inner aspect of occipital bone within cranium just above foramen magnum to opening that perforates occipital bone externally at lateral part of base of occipital condyle Transmits hypoglossal nerve & a branch of posterior meningeal artery Jugular foramen is situated between the lateral part of the occipital and the petrous part of the temporal Anterior compartment – inferior petrosal sinus Intermediate – glossopharyngeal.

Internal auditory meatus (also internal acoustic meatus.) is a canal in the petrous part of the temporal bone of the skull that carries nerves from inside the cranium towards the middle and inner ear compartments Namely cranial nerve VII and cranial nerve VIII. .

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