Temporal bone

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 01 Jul 2021

The temporal bone is situated on the sides and the base of the cranium and lateral to the temporal lobe of the cerebrum. The temporal bone is one of the most important calvarial and skull base bones. 

Gross anatomy

The temporal bone is divided into several main parts/portions 1-3:

In addition, there are several bony projections:

  • styloid process (considered a separate part or a component of the petrous part)
  • zygomatic process (a component of the squamous part)
  • mastoid process (considered a component of the mastoid part or synonymous with it)

The temporal bone can also be divided into otologic zones:

Articulations

There are four intrinsic fissures between the divisions of the temporal bone 4,5:

There are many named extrinsic fissures between the temporal bone and other cranial bones 4,5:

Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: temporal bone divisions (CT anatomy)
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  • Figure 2: temporal bone structures (axial)
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  • Figure 3: temporal bone structures (coronal)
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  • Figure 4: temporal bone structures (Stenvers view)
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  • Figure 5: normal petrous temporal bone axial CT
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  • Figure 6: diagram - skull and facial bones
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  • Figure 7: anterior view (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Figure 8: medial view (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Figure 9: lateral view (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Figure 10: inferior view (Gray's illustrations)
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