Spheno-occipital synchondrosis

Case contributed by Dr Naim K


Snoring at night.

Patient Data

Age: 5 years
Gender: Male

Horizontal lucency within the sphenoid bone posteroinferior to the sella turcica.

Moderate adenoidal enlargement is seen.

Prominent palatine tonsils.

Case Discussion

Synchondroses are cartilaginous unions between bone composed entirely of hyaline cartilage. Most exist between ossification centers of developing bones and gradually ossify. Immature skeletal examples include synchondroses of the pelvis e.g. ischiopubic synchondrosis and manubriosternal synchondrosis.

Spheno-occipital synchondrosis (a.k.a. basiocciput synchondrosis) is the synchondrosis between the basisphenoid and basiocciput bones, which together when joined form the clivus. Closure of spheno-occipital synchondrosis takes place over a relatively wide spectrum of ages. It is not considered a reliable method for bone age assessment. Fusion begins superiorly and progresses inferiorly, it initiates in girls at 12-13 years, and in boys at 14-15 years and is complete by 17-18 years.

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