Palatine bone

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 3 Aug 2021

The palatine bones are paired L-shaped bones joined at the midline. They form the hard palate with the maxillary bones. They also form part of the floor of the nasal cavity (the hard palate separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity). 

Gross anatomy

The palatine bones are located at the back of the nasal cavity, between the maxillae and the sphenoid. Each bone consists of a horizontal and perpendicular plate forming an L-shape. There are three processes, the pyramidal, orbital and sphenoidal.

They make structural contributions to the hard palate, nasal cavity, orbital floor and pterygopalatine fossa.

  • with the palatine process of the maxilla anteriorly forming the transverse palatine suture
  • with its opposite counterpart in the midline
  • with the vomer
  • with the inferior concha
  • with both the body and the medial pterygoid plate of the sphenoid
  • with the ethmoid
  • intramembranous ossification, appears eighth week in utero
  • at birth the horizontal and perpendicular plates are of equal size

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