Inferior nasal concha

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The inferior nasal concha or turbinate is one of the conchae in the nose.

Gross anatomy

It extends horizontally along the lateral wall of the nasal cavity and consists of a lamina of spongy bone, curled upon itself like a scroll. Each inferior nasal concha is considered a pair of facial bones since they arise from the maxillae bones and projects horizontally into the nasal cavity.

Superior to inferior nasal concha are the middle nasal concha and superior nasal concha which arise from the cranial portion of the skull. Hence, these two are considered as a part of the cranial bones.


The medial surface is convex, perforated by numerous apertures, and traversed by longitudinal grooves for the lodgement of vessels. The lateral surface is concave and forms part of the inferior meatus.


Its upper border is thin, irregular, and connected to various bones along the lateral wall of the nasal cavity. The inferior border is free, thick, and cellular in structure, more especially in the middle of the bone.

The upper border may be divided into three portions:

  • the anterior articulates with the conchal crest of the maxilla
  • the posterior with the conchal crest of the palatine
  • the middle portion presents three well-marked processes, which vary much in their size and form


The inferior nasal concha is ossified from a single centre, which appears about the fifth month of fetal life in the lateral wall of the cartilaginous nasal capsule.

Head and neck anatomy
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Article information

rID: 4780
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Inferior concha
  • Inferior nasal turbinate
  • Inferior turbinate

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: lateral wall of the nasal cavity
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    Normal ostiomeata...
    Figure 2: normal ostiomeatal complex
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