Temporal fossa

Last revised by Sarah Robertson on 2 Aug 2021

The temporal fossa is located in the temporal region and communicates inferiorly with infratemporal fossa deep to the zygomatic arch.

Gross anatomy

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:

Muscle attachment
  • Temporal fascia: superior temporal line
  • Temporalis: inferior temporal line

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