Pterygoid processes of the sphenoid
|Pterygoid processes of the sphenoid|
Sphenoid bone, upper surface.
Sphenoid bone, anterior and inferior surfaces.
|Latin||processus pterygoideus ossis sphenoidalis|
|Anatomical terms of bone|
Each process consists of a medial pterygoid plate and a lateral pterygoid plate, the upper parts of which are fused anteriorly; a vertical sulcus, the pterygopalatine groove, descends on the front of the line of fusion.
Above this fossa is a small, oval, shallow depression, the scaphoid fossa, which gives origin to the tensor veli palatini.
The anterior surface of the pterygoid process is broad and triangular near its root, where it forms the posterior wall of the pterygopalatine fossa and presents the anterior orifice of the pterygoid canal.
In many mammals it remains as a separate bone called the pterygoid bone.
Its name is Greek for "resembling a fin or wing", from its shape.
- Anatomy diagram: 34257.000-1 at Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator, Elsevier