List of Structures passing through Foramina of Skull


The human skull consists of a lot of foramina that act as the passage for the blood vessels, nerve and other structures. In medical terms, the definition of foramen is – An opening or orifice in the skeleton, through which structures like Nerves, Arteries, Veins, Muscles and Ligaments pass.

Here’s the list of foramens and the structures passing through each of them.

Foramina of Skull

Structures passing through Foramen Magnum

  • Medulla Oblangata or Spinal Cord
  • Vertebral Arteries
  • Spinal Accessory nerve
  • Apical Ligament of Dens
  • Membrana Tectoria

Structures passing through Foramen Lacerum

  • Greater and Deep Petrosal Nerves to form nerve of pterygoid canal
  • Meningeal branch of ascending pharyngeal artery
  • Internal carotid Artery with Venous and Sympathetic Plexus

Structures passing through Foramen Rotundum

  • Maxillary Nerve (V2)

Structures passing through Foramen Ovale

  • Mandibular Nerve (V3)
  • Lesser Petrosal Nerve
  • Accessory Meningeal Artery

Structures passing through Foramen Spinosum

  • Middle Meningeal Artery
  • Middle Meningeal Vein
  • Nervous Spinosus

Structures passing through Parietal Foramen

  • Emissary Vein from superior sagittal sinus

Structures passing through Mastoid Foramen

  • Emissary vein passing to Sigmoid sinus
  • Meningeal branch of occipital artery

Structures passing through Foramen Caecum

  • Emissary Vein

Structures passing through Greater Palatine Foramen

  • Greater palatine Artery
  • Greater Palatine Vein
  • Anterior Palatine Nerve

Structures passing through Lesser Palatine Foramen

  • Lesser Palatine Artery
  • Lesser Palatine Vein
  • Middle and Posterior Palatine Nerves

Structures passing through Incisive Canal

  • Nasopalatine Nerve
  • Greater Palatine vessels

Structures passing through Supra Orbital Foramen

  • Supra orbital Nerve
  • Supra orbital Artery
  • Supra orbital Vein

Structures passing through Superior Orbital Fissure

  • Oculomotor Nerve
  • Trochlear Nerve
  • Abducens Nerve
  • Trigeminal nerve (V3)
  • Superior Ophthalmic Vein

Structures passing through Inferior Orbital Fissure

  • Infra Orbital vessels
  • Ascending branches of Sphenopalatine ganglion
  • Zygomatic Nerve

Structures passing through Stylomastoid Foramen

  • Facial Nerve
  • Posterior Auricular Artery (Stylomastoid branch)

Structures passing through Zygomaticotemporal Foramen

  • Zygomaticotemporal Nerve

Structures passing through Mandibular Foramen

  • Inferior Alveolar Nerve
  • Inferior Alveolar Artery
  • Inferior Alveolar Vein

Structures passing through Mental Foramen

  • Mental Artery
  • Mental Vein
  • Mental Nerve
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