Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 16 Dec 2021

The vomer is one of the unpaired facial bones and forms the posteroinferior part of the bony nasal septum, lying in the midline between the two nasal cavities.

It is a thin flat bone that is trapezoidal in shape with two surfaces that are obliquely grooved by the sphenopalatine (nasopalatine) vessels and nerves.

The vomer has four borders:

  • superior: thickest border with laterally projecting alae which articulate with the rostrum of the sphenoid bone body. The alae also articulate with the:
    • sphenoidal conchae of the body of sphenoid (anterior surface) 
    • vaginal processes of the body of sphenoid (inferior surface) 
    • sphenoidal processes of the pala­tine bones
  • inferior: articulates with the median nasal crest of the maxilla and palatine bones, between the incisive canals
  • anterior: longest border which articulates with:
  • posterior: short concave border which is thicker (and bifid) superiorly and which does not articulate with any bone, but rather separates the two choanae

The vomerovaginal canal is formed between the ala, body of the sphenoid and the small medially directed vaginal process arising from the sphenoid bone.

Variant anatomy

Occasionally the sphenoid sinus may extend into and pneumatize the vomer 2.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: nasal septum
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  • Case 1: pneumatization
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  • Figure 3: medial nasal cavity (Gray's illustrations)
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  • Figure 4: vomer (Gray's illustrations)
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