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Inferior orbital fissure

Recommended video: Superior and inferior orbital fissures [20:23]
Structure and contents of the orbital fissures and the optic canal.

The inferior orbital fissure is a cleft that separates the lateral wall of the orbit from the floor of the orbit. 

The inferior orbital fissure runs in an anterolateral direction, from the posterior aspect of the maxilla to the anterior region of the zygomatic bone. It lies inferolateral to the optic canal and inferior to the superior orbital fissure. The borders of this fissure include the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, maxilla, palatine and zygomatic bones.

Posteriorly, the inferior orbital fissure links the orbit with the pterygopalatine fossa. It is also allows communication between the infratemporal fossa and orbit, as well as the temporal fossa and orbit. The inferior orbital fissure opens into the posterolateral aspect of the orbital floor. This allows the passage of several neurovascular structures through the fissure. These include the infraorbital nerve and artery, zygomatic nerve, inferior branch of the inferior ophthalmic vein and the orbital branches of the pterygopalatine ganglion

Terminology English: Inferior orbital fissure
Synyonyms: Sphenomaxillary fissure

Latin: Fissura orbitalis inferior
Synonyms: Fissura orbitalis sphenomaxillaris
Location Floor of the bony orbit 
Contents Infraorbital nerve, zygomatic nerve, inferior branch of the inferior ophthalmic vein, infraorbital artery and the orbital branches of the pterygopalatine ganglion

Learn more about the inferior orbital fissure in this study unit: 

Inferior orbital fissure : want to learn more about it?

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