Foramens Of Skull

SKULL:
  • The human skull has numerous holes (foramina) through which cranial nerves, arteries, veins and other structures pass

Bone Cranial fossa Foramina Vessels Nerves
Frontal - Supraorbital foramen Supraorbital artery, supraorbital vein Supraorbital nerve
Frontal Anterior cranial fossa Foramen cecum Emissary veins to superior sagittal sinus from the upper part of the nose
Ethmoid Anterior cranial fossa (osama) Foramina of cribriform plate - Olfactory nerve bundles (I)
Ethmoid Anterior cranial fossa Anterior ethmoidal foramen Anterior ethmoidal artery
Anterior ethmoidal vein
Anterior ethmoidal nerve
Ethmoid Anterior cranial fossa Posterior ethmoidal foramen Posterior ethmoidal artery
Posterior ethmoidal vein
Posterior ethmoidal nerve
Sphenoid - Optic canal(lesser wing of sphenoid) Ophthalmic artery Optic nerve (II)
Sphenoid Middle cranial fossa Superior orbital fissure(greater & lesser wing of sphenoid) Superior ophthalmic vein Oculomotor nerve (III)
Trochlear nerve (IV)
Lacrimal, frontal and nasociliary branches of ophthalmic nerve (V1)
Abducent nerve (VI)
Sphenoid Middle cranial fossa Foramen rotundum - Maxillary nerve (V2)
Maxilla - Incisive foramen/incisive canal Terminal branch of palatine descendens artery Terminal part of nasopalatine nerve (V2)
Palatine - Greater palatine foramen Greater palatine artery
Greater palatine vein
Greater palatine nerve
Palatine and sphenoid - Foramen sphenopalatinum Sphenopalatina artery
Sphenopalatina vein
Nasopalatine nerve
Rami nasales posteriores superiores (V2)
Palatine and maxilla - Lesser palatine foramina Lesser palatine artery
Lesser palatine vein
Lesser palatine nerve, greater palatine nerve
Sphenoid and maxilla - Inferior orbital fissure Inferior ophthalmic veins
Infraorbital artery
Infraorbital vein, tributary of pterygoid plexus
Zygomatic nerve and infraorbital nerve of maxillary nerve (V2)
Orbital branches of pterygopalatine ganglion
Maxilla - Infraorbital foramen Infraorbital artery
Infraorbital vein, tributary of pterygoid plexus
Infraorbital nerve
Sphenoid Middle cranial fossa Foramen ovale Accessory meningeal artery, emissary vein connecting cavernous sinus with pterygoid plexus Mandibular nerve (V3)
Lesser petrosal nerve (occasionally)
Sphenoid Middle cranial fossa Foramen spinosum Middle meningeal artery Meningeal branch of the mandibular nerve (V3)
Sphenoid Middle cranial fossa Foramen lacerum Artery of pterygoid canal, Meningeal branch of ascending pharyngeal artery,
Occipital arteryemissary vein
Nerve of pterygoid canal through its anterior wall.
Temporal Posterior cranial fossa Internal acoustic meatus Labyrinthine artery Facial nerve (VII), vestibulocochlear nerve (VIII)
Temporal Posterior cranial fossa Jugular foramen Internal jugular vein, inferior petrosal sinus, sigmoid sinus, Occipital artery Glossopharyngeal nerve (IX), vagus nerve (X), accessory nerve (XI)
Occipital Posterior cranial fossa Hypoglossal canal - Hypoglossal nerve (XII)
Occipital Posterior cranial fossa Foramen magnum Anterior and posterior spinal arteries, vertebral arteries Lowest part of medulla oblongata, three meninges, ascending spinal fibers of accessory nerve (XI)
Temporal Posterior cranial fossa Stylomastoid foramen Stylomastoid artery Facial nerve (VII)
Exam Question
  • Middle meningeal artery passes through Foramen spinosum
  • Accessory meningeal artery, emissary vein connecting cavernous sinus with pterygoid plexus,Mandibular nerve (V3)& Lesser petrosal nerve are the structures passing through foramen ovale
  • Structure passing through foramen Rotundum is maxillary nerve.
  • Superior orbital fissure is formed by Greater wing of sphenoid and lesser wing of sphenoid
  • Trochlear nerve enters the orbit through Superior orbital fissure
  • Structures passing through foramen magnum are Anterior and posterior spinal arteries, vertebral arteries,Lowest part of medulla oblongata, three meninges, ascending spinal fibers of accessory nerve (XI)
  • Middle meningeal artery & Meningeal branch of the mandibular nerve passes through foramen spinosum
  • Glossopharyngeal nerve (IX), vagus nerve (X), accessory nerve (XI) are the 3 cranial nerves passing through jugular foramen
  • Middle meningeal artery and vein travels through foramen spinosum.
  • Structures passing through superior orbital fissure are Superior ophthalmic vein, Oculomotor nerve (III),trochlear nerve (IV),Lacrimal, frontal and nasociliary branches of ophthalmic nerve (V1) & Abducent nerve (VI)
  • Trochlear and abducent nerve pass through superior orbital fissure.
  • Optic canal is a part of lesser wing of sphenoid
  • Opthalmic artery passes through optic canal
  • Vertebral artery passes through foramen magnum
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