German Contact Help Login Register

The Cranial Sutures

Contents

The cranial sutures are fibrous joints connecting the bones of the skull. To the unknowing individual these shallow grooves may look like fractures. In fact the intricate windy lines of these thin lines mark the adherence between the bones and the growth and closure of the cranial fontanelles. The sutures found in the skull are as follows:

Bones of the skull
Recommended video: Bones of the skull
Overview of the bones that make up the skull.

Anterior view

  • The frontonasal suture joins the frontal bone and the nasal bones.
  • The frontozygomatic suture articulates the frontal bone and the zygomatic bone.
  • The zygomaticomaxillary suture links the zygoma 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.

Posterior view

  • The sagittal suture joins the two parietals.
  • The lambdoid suture marks the borders between the parietal and occipital bones.
  • The sagittal and lambdoid sutures converge into a lambda.

Superior view

  • 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.

Lateral view

  • 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.

Inferior view

  • 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.

To learn and memorize the cranial sutures fast and easy sign up at kenhub.com with your email, Facebook or Google+ account!

Get me the rest of this article for free
Create your account and you’ll be able to see the rest of this article, plus videos and a quiz to help you memorize the information, all for free. You’ll also get access to articles, videos, and quizzes about dozens of other anatomy systems.
Create your free account ➞
Show references

Reference:

  • Neil S. Norton, Ph.D. and Frank H. Netter, MD, Netter’s Head and Neck Anatomy for Dentistry, 2nd Edition, Elsevier Saunders, Chapter 2 Osteology, p.47-50.

Author:

  • Dr. Alexandra Sieroslawska

Illustrators:

  • Lambdoid suture - Yousun Koh 
  • Transverse palatine suture - Yousun Koh 
© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

Continue your learning

Article (You are here)
Other articles
Well done!
Create your free account.
Start learning anatomy in less than 60 seconds.