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Pterygoid processes of the sphenoid

Bone: Pterygoid processes of the sphenoid
Sphenoid bone, upper surface.
Sphenoid bone, anterior and inferior surfaces.
Latin processus pterygoideus ossis sphenoidalis
Gray's subject #35 151
Dorlands/Elsevier p_34/12667598

The pterygoid processes of the sphenoid, one on either side, descend perpendicularly from the regions where the body and great wings unite.

Each process consists of a medial pterygoid plate and a lateral pterygoid plate, the upper parts of which are fused anteriorly; a vertical sulcus, the pterygopalatine groove, descends on the front of the line of fusion.

The plates are separated below by an angular cleft, the pterygoid fissure, the margins of which are rough for articulation with the pyramidal process of the palatine bone.

The two plates diverge behind and enclose between them a V-shaped fossa, the pterygoid fossa, which contains pterygoideus internus and tensor veli palatini.

Above this fossa is a small, oval, shallow depression, the scaphoid fossa, which gives origin to the tensor veli palatini.

The anterior surface of the pterygoid process is broad and triangular near its root, where it forms the posterior wall of the pterygopalatine fossa and presents the anterior orifice of the pterygoid canal.


Pterygo- meaning wing or fin, -oid meaning having the form or likeness of, process being a projection from the main body of something. [1]

Additional images


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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pterygoid_processes_of_the_sphenoid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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