Styloid process

Dr Francis Deng and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The styloid process of the temporal bone is a slender osseous projection that points anteroinferiorly from the inferior surface of the petrous part of the temporal bone.

It serves as an anchor point for several muscles associated with the tongue and larynx:

It should be noted that all of these structures, along with the styloid process itself, develop from the second branchial arch (see branchial apparatus) and combined form the styloid apparatus

Morphological variants
  • type I: normal (less than 30 mm) 
  • type II: elongated (more than 30 mm)
  • type III: pseudoarticulated
  • type IV: segmented

Related pathology

Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

Article information

rID: 28371
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Styloid part of temporal bone
  • Styloid part of the temporal bone

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: temporal bone divisions (CT anatomy)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2: diagram - temporal bone
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 3: TMJ anatomy (Gray's anatomy)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

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

     Thank you for updating your details.