Vomer

Assoc Prof Craig Hacking and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The vomer is one of the facial bones and forms the postero-inferior part of the bony nasal septum. It is unpaired and lies 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 4 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:
    • the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone along its upper half
    • the nasal septal cartilage along its lower half
  • posterior: short concave border which is thicker (and bifid) superiorly and which does not articulate with any bone, but rather separates the posterior 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 pneumatize the vomer 2.

Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

Article information

rID: 37542
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Tag: nose
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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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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