Stapes

Dr Dan J Bell and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

The stapes is the smallest and most medial of the middle ear ossicles. It is the smallest bone in the standard human skeleton.

It has a base (foot piece / footplate) which seals the oval window and conducts vibrations to the cochlea. The base is attached to the neck via anterior and posterior arches (also called the anterior and posterior crura). On top of the neck (or hub) is a concave head which articulates with the lentiform nodule (lenticular process) of the incus.

The stapes has a number of attachments:

  • incostapedial (incudostapedial) joint (a synovial joint)
  • annular ligament around the oval window
  • stapedius (muscle attaches to the back of the neck)

History and etymology

"Stapes" is Latin for stirrup.

Head and neck anatomy
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Article information

rID: 2084
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Tags: refs, stub
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: stapes illustration
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    Structures of the...
    Figure 2: anatomy of the middle ear
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    Figure 3: CT - axial
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    Figure 4: annotated CT
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    Figure 5: middle ear anatomy illustrations
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    Figure 6: middle ear anatomy illustrations
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