Incus

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 25 Aug 2022

The incus (plural: incudes) is the middle of the three ossicles articulating with the head of the malleus anteromedially, forming the incudomalleolar joint, and the stapes inferomedially, forming the incudostapedial joint.

Four parts of the incus are named:

  • body
    • contiguous with the short and long processes
    • articulates with the head of the malleus
    • attaches the superior ligament of the incus (to the roof of the middle ear cavity)
  • long process (or crus)
    • contiguous with the body and lentiform process
  • lentiform process (or lentiform nodule)
  • short process (or crus) 

History and etymology

Incus is the Latin word meaning anvil 3.

Related pathology

The long crus is the most frequently eroded or resorbed part of the ossicles.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: incus
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  • Figure 2: anatomy of the middle ear
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  • Figure 3: annotated CT
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  • Figure 4: middle ear anatomy illustrations
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  • Figure 5: middle ear anatomy illustrations
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