Joints of the skull. Skull sutures

Joints of the skull. Skull suturesFeatures of the structure of the joints connecting the bones of the skull. Skull sutures
~ 4 min

The bones of the skull are connected to each other by continuous fibrous (sometimes cartilaginous) joints. That means that there is not cavity in the structure of these joints, and the bones are held together with dense fibrous connective tissue (or, in case of synchondroses, with cartilaginous tissue).

The exception is the joint connecting the temporal bone and the mandible, which is a temporomandibular joint.

Temporomandibular joint (articulatio temporomandibularis)
Temporomandibular joint (articulatio temporomandibularis)

Let’s learn about the fibrous joints, namely sutures (suturae).

Depending on the shape of the edges, the sutures can be serrate (sut. serrata), plane (sut. plana) and squamous (sut. squamosa). The largest and most noticeable sutures are:

  • The sagittal suture (sut. sagittalis), which connects the medial borders of the parietal bones.

    Sagittal suture (sut. sagittalis)
    Sagittal suture (sut. sagittalis)
  • The coronal suture (sut. coronalis), which connects the posterior border of the frontal bone with the anterior border of the parietal bone.

    Coronal suture (sut. coronalis)
    Coronal suture (sut. coronalis)
    Coronal suture (sut. coronalis)
    Coronal suture (sut. coronalis)
  • The lambdoid suture (sut. lambdoidea), which connects the occipital margin of the parietal bone and the squamous part of the occipital bone.

    Lambdoid suture (sut. lambdoidea)
    Lambdoid suture (sut. lambdoidea)
    Lambdoid suture (sut. lambdoidea)
    Lambdoid suture (sut. lambdoidea)
  • The squamous suture (sut. squamosa), which connects the squamous part of the temporal bone with the parietal bone and the greater wing of the sphenoidal bone.

    Squamous suture (sut. squamosa)
    Squamous suture (sut. squamosa)

    The rest of the sutures are less noticeable and in their name reflect the bones they connect:

    Title Connections
    Occipitomastoid suture
    (sut. occipitomastoidea)
    Connects the mastoid process of the temporal bone with the squamous part of the occipital bone
    Parietomastoid suture
    (sut. parietomastoidea)
    Connects the mastoid angle of the parietal bone and the parietal notch of the squamous part, and the mastoid process of the temporal bone
    Sphenoparietal suture
    (sut. sphenoparietalis)
    Connects the sphenoidal angle of the parietal bone and the parietal margin of the sphenoid bone
    Phenofrontal suture
    (sut. sphenofrontalis)
    Connects the frontal edge of the greater and lesser wings of the sphenoidal bone and the orbital part of the frontal bone
    Spenosquamous suture
    (sut. sphenosquamosa)
    Connects the squamous margin of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone with the spenoidal margin of the squamous part of the temporal bone
    Spheno-ethmoidal suture
    (sut. sphenoethmoidalis)
    Connects the sphenoidal crest of the sphenoidal bone and the posterior border of the perpendicular plate of the ethmoidal bone
    Sphenovomerine suture
    (sut. sphenovomeralis)
    Connects the inferior surface of the sphenoidal body and rostrum and the sphenoidal margin of the squamous part of the temporal bone
    Sphenozygomatic suture
    (sut. sphenozygomatica)
    Connects the zygomatic margin of the greater wing of the sphenoidal bone and the frontal process of the zygomatic bone
    Frontonasal suture
    (sut. frontonasalis)
    Connects the nasal margin of the frontal bone and the superior margin of the nasal bones
    Fronto-ethmoidal suture
    (sut. frontoethmoidalis)
    Connects the orbital and nasal parts of the frontal bone and the corresponding margins of the ethmoidal bone
    Frontomaxillary suture
    (sut. frontomaxillaris)
    Connects the nasal part of the frontal bone and the frontal process of the maxilla
    Frontolacrimal suture
    (sut. frontolacrimalis)
    Connects the orbital part of the frontal bone and the superior process of the zygomatic bone
    Frontozygomatic suture
    (sut. frontozygomatica)
    Connects the zygomatic process of the frontal bone and the frontal process of the zygomatic bone
    Zygomaticomaxillary suture
    (sut. zygomaticomaxillaris)
    Connects the zygomatic bone and the zygomatic process of the maxilla
    Ethmoidomaxillary suture (sut. ethmoidomaxillaris) Connects the inferior border of the orbital plate of the ethmoidal bone and the orbital surface of the body of the maxilla
    Ethmoidolacrimal suture
    (sut. ethmoidolacrimalis)
    Connects the orbital plate of the ethmoidal bone and the lacrimal bone
    Temporozygomatic suture
    (sut. temporozygomatica)
    Connects the zygomatic process of the temporal bone and the temporal process of the zygomatic bone
    Internasal suture
    (sut. internasalis)
    Connects the medial borders of the nasal bones facing each other
    Nasomaxillary suture
    (sut. nasomaxillaris)
    Connects the lateral margin of the nasal bone and the frontal process of the maxilla
    Lacrimomaxillary suture
    (sut. lacrimomaxillaris)
    Connects the inferior border of the lacrimal bone and the orbital surface of the maxilla
    Lacrimoconchal suture
    (sut. lacrimoconchalis)
    Connects the inferior border of the lacrimal bone and the lacrimal process of the inferior nasal concha
    Intermaxillary suture
    (sut. intermaxillaris)
    Connects the alveolar processes of both maxillary bones
    Palatomaxillary suture
    (sut. palatomaxillaris)
    Connects the orbital margin of the palatine bone and the posterior border of the orbital plate of the ethmoidal bone
    Palato-ethmoidal suture
    (sut. palatoethmoidalis)
    Connects the orbital margin of the palatine bone and the posterior border of the orbital plate of the ethmoid bone
    Median palatine suture
    (sut. palatina mediana)
    Connects the medial border of the palatine processes of both maxillary bones, as well as the medial borders of the horizontal plates of both palatine bones
    Transverse palatine suture
    (sut. palatina transversa)
    Connects the posterior border of the palatine processes of both maxillary bones with the anterior borders of the horizontal plates of both palatine bones

    In the area of the facial skeleton, the sutures have a more even or flat appearance. Such sutures are also called harmonious.

    The cranial cartilaginous joints (or synchondroses) are located at the base of skull. They are formed by fibrous cartilage tissue. In most synchondroses, the cartilage layer between the bones persists only until a certain age, after which the cartilage is replaced by bone tissue and synchondrosis turns into synostosis.

  • The spheno-occipital synchondrosis (synchondrosis sphenooccipitalis), which connects the posterior surface of the body of the sphenoidal bone and the basilar part of the occipital bone.

  • The sphenopetrosal synchondrosis (synchondrosis sphenopetrosa), which connects the body of the sphenoid bonewith the petrous part of the temporal bone.

  • The petro-occipital synchondrosis (synchondrosis petrooccipitalis), which connects the posterior border of the petrous part of the temporal bone and the external borders of the basilar and lateral parts of the occipital bone.

Dictionary

Joints of the skull

Occipitomastoid suture
sutura occipitomastoidea
Parietomastoid suture
sutura parietomastoidea
Sphenoparietal suture
sutura sphenoparietalis
Sphenofrontal suture
sutura sphenofrontalis
Sphenosquamous suture
sutura sphenosquamosa
Spheno-ethmoidal suture
sutura sphenoethmoidalis
Sphenovomerine suture
sutura sphenovomeralis
Sphenozygomatic suture
sutura sphenozygomatica
Frontonasal suture
sutura frontonasalis
Fronto-ethmoidal suture
sutura frontoethmoidalis
Coronal suture
sutura coronalis
Frontomaxillary suture
sutura frontomaxillaris
Frontolacrimal suture
sutura frontolacrimalis
Frontozygomatic suture
sutura frontozygomatica
Zygomaticomaxillary suture
sutura zygomaticomaxillaris
Lambdoid suture
sutura lambdoidea
Ethmoidomaxillary suture
sutura ethmoidomaxillaris
Ethmoidolacrimal suture
sutura ethmoidolacrimalis
Temporozygomatic suture
sutura temporozygomatica
Internasal suture
sutura internasalis
Squamous suture
sutura squamosa
Nasomaxillary suture
sutura nasomaxillaris
Lacrimomaxillary suture
sutura lacrimomaxillaris
Lacrimoconchal suture
sutura lacrimoconchalis
Intermaxillary suture
sutura intermaxillaris
Sagittal suture suture
sutura sagittalis
Palatomaxillary suture
sutura palatomaxillaris
Palato-ethmoidal suture
sutura palatoethmoidalis
Median palatine suture
sutura palatina mediana
Transverse palatine suture
sutura palatina transversa
Spheno-occipital synchondrosis
synchondrosis sphenooccipitalis
Sphenopetrosal synchondrosis
synchondrosis sphenopetrosa
Petro-occipital synchondrosis
synchondrosis petrooccipitalis
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