Lacrimal bone

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 02 Jul 2021

The lacrimal bones are paired craniofacial bones forming anterior aspect of the medial orbital walls. 

Gross anatomy

The lacrimal bones have two surfaces and four borders. The lateral orbital surface is divided by a vertical posterior lacrimal crest with an anterior fossa for lacrimal sac and lacrimal hamulus which with the maxilla forms the upper orifice of the nasolacrimal canal.The medial nasal surface is part of the middle meatus and meets the anterior ethmoidal air cells. The anterior border articulates with the frontal process of the maxilla at the lacrimomaxillary suture, and the posterior border with the ethmoidal orbital plate. The superior border meets the frontal bone and inferiorly, the maxillary orbital surface.


Orbicularis oculi muscle is attached to the orbital surface and posterior lacrimal crest.


Lacrimal bone ossifies from a single center which appears around the twelfth week in the mesenchyme around the nasal capsule.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: medial view (Gray's illustration)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2: with nasal bone and maxilla (Gray's illustration)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.