Infraorbital foramen

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Infraorbital foramen
The skull from the front. (Infraorbital foramen labeled at center right, under the eye.)
Articulation of nasal and lacrimal bones with maxilla. (Infraorbital foramen labeled at left.)
Latin Foramen infraorbitale
Gray's p.158
TA A02.1.12.008
FMA 57718
Anatomical terms of bone

In human anatomy, the infraorbital foramen (IOF) is an opening in the maxillary bone of the skull located below the infraorbital margin (IOM) of the orbit (eye socket). It allows passage for the infraorbital artery, vein, and nerve which are branches of the maxillary branch (V2) of the trigeminal nerve (CN V). The IOF-IOM distance varies between 6.10 to 10.9 mm (0.240 to 0.429 in).[1] Forming the exterior end of the infraorbital canal, the infraorbital foramen communicates with the infraorbital groove, the canal's opening on the interior side.

The ramifications of the three principal branches of the trigeminal nerve — at the supraorbital, infraorbital, and mental foramina — are distributed on a vertical line (in anterior view) passing through the middle of the pupil. The infraorbital foramina is used as a pressure point to test the sensitivity of the infraorbital nerve.[2] Palpation of the infraorbital foramen during an extraoral examination or an administration of a local anesthetic agent will cause soreness to the area.[3]

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Additional images[edit]

A Grizzly bear's skull with the left infraorbital foramina clearly visible 


  1. ^ Macedo, VC; Cabrini, RR; Faig-Leite, H (2009). "Infraorbital foramen location in dry human skulls" (PDF). Braz. J. Morphol. Sci. 26 (1): 35–38. 
  2. ^ Platzer, Werner (2004). Color Atlas of Human Anatomy, Vol. 1: Locomotor System (5th ed.). Thieme. p. 336. ISBN 3-13-533305-1. 
  3. ^ Illustrated Anatomy of the Head and Neck, Fehrenbach and Herring, Elsevier, 2012, page 55

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