Sutures of the skull
The sutures of the skull, also referred to as the cranial sutures, are fibrous joints that connect the bones of the skull. They appear as intricate thin lines that mark the adherence between the bones and the growth and closure of the cranial fontanelles.
The dense fibrous tissue that connects the sutures is made mostly out of collagen. These joints are fixed, immovable, and they have no cavity. They are also referred to as the synarthroses. In fetal skull, the sutures are wide and allow slight movement during birth, but later in life they become rigid and fixed.
This article will explain the anatomy, structure and function of the sutures of the skull.
|Anterior aspect of skull||
Frontonasal suture - between the frontal bone and nasal bones
Frontozygomatic suture - between the frontal bone and zygomatic bone
Zygomaticomaxillary suture - between zygoma and the maxilla
Intermaxillary suture - between two maxilla
Metopic suture - found in children; on the midline of the frontal bone
|Posterior aspect of skull||
Sagittal suture - between two parietal bones
Lambdoid suture - between the parietal bone/temporal bone and occipital bone
Lambda - convergence of the sagital and lambdoid suture (resembles to a greek letter 'lambda')
|Superior aspect of skull||
Coronal suture - between the frontal bone and the parietal bone
Bregma - convergence of the saggital and coronal sutures
|Lateral aspect of skull||
Squamous suture - between the parietal bone and temporal bone
Sphenofrontal suture - between the frontal bone and sphenoid bone
Sphenoparietal suture - between the sphenoid bone and parietal bone
Occipitomastoid suture - between the occipital bone and mastoid process of the temporal bone
Temporozygomatic suture - between the temporal bone and zygomatic bone
|Inferior aspect of skull||
Median palatine suture - between the hotizontal plates of the palatines
Transverse palatine suture - between the palatine process of the maxillary bone and the palatine bone
Petro-occipital suture - between the occipital bone and petrous part of the temporal bone
Spheno-occipital suture - between the sphenoid bone and occipital bone
Petrosquamous suture - between the petrous and squamous parts of the temporal bone
Petrotympanic suture - between the temporomandibular joint and the tympanic cavity
- The frontonasalsuture joins the frontal bone and nasal bones.
- The frontozygomatic suture articulates the frontal and zygomatic bones.
- The zygomaticomaxillary suture links the zygomatic bone and the maxilla.
- The two maxillary bones are anteriorly connected by the intermaxillary joint. The width of this joint is significantly increased during a maxillary expansion treatment.
- The metopic suture is a persistent childhood suture that runs down the midline of the frontal bone.
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- The coronal suture separates the frontal bone and the parietal bone.
- The coronal and the sagittal sutures converge into the bregma.
- The sagittal and lambdoid sutures are also visible from this angle.
Review the bones of the skull with this quick, integrated quiz.
- The squamous suture joins the parietal bone and the temporal bone.
- The sphenofrontal suture links the frontal bone and the sphenoid bone.
- The sphenoparietal suture articulates the sphenoid bone and the parietal bone.
- The occipitomastoid suture is the groove between the occipital bone and the mastoid process of the temporal bone.
- The temporozygomatic suture is the adherence of the temporal bone and the zygomatic bone.
- The coronal, lambdoid and frontozygomatic sutures are also visible from this angle.
Learn more about the cranial sutures here:
- The median palatine suture connects the horizontal plates of the palatines. It is the posterior continuation of the intermaxillary suture.
- The transverse palatine suture adheres the palatine process of the maxillary bone to the palatine bone.
- The petro-occipital suture is the junction between the occipital bone and the petrous part of the temporal bone.
- The spheno-occipital suture articulates the sphenoid bone and the occipital bone.
- The petrosquamous suture is the interosseous border the petrous part and the squamous part of the temporal bone.
- The petrotympanic suture (also known as the squamotympanic suture) is a temporal fissure that runs between the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the tympanic cavity.
Don't forget to quiz yourself on the cranial sutures to consolidate your knowledge!
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