The temporal fossa is located in the temporal region and communicates inferiorly with infratemporal fossa deep to the zygomatic arch.
The temporal fossa is bounded by a few anatomical landmarks, anteriorly the frontal process of the zygomatic bone, superiorly and posteriorly the temporal lines, and inferiorly the zygomatic arch.
Four bones jointly form the floor of the temporal fossa, the frontal and parietal bones superiorly and lateral aspect of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone and squamous part of the temporal bone inferiorly.
The pterion is the sutural junction where these four bones articulate to each other. The anterior (frontal) branch of the middle meningeal artery runs deep to pterion suture intracranially, which is susceptible to laceration and extradural hematoma formation in trauma setting.
The temporal fossa is primarily occupied by the temporalis muscle, but there are a few other contents which include:
- Temporal fascia: superior temporal line
- Temporalis: inferior temporal line
- anterior fossa (the 'hairless skin of the fossa) is innervated by the zygomaticotemporal nerve (a branch of the zygomatic nerve, from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve)
- mid fossa (the haired skin of the fossa) is innervated by the auriculotemporal nerve (a branch from the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve)
- posterior fossa is innervated by the lesser occipital nerve (from C2, C3)