Stylomastoid Foramen – Location and Structures passing through it


Stylomastoid Foramen is an opening located between the styloid and mastoid processes of the temporal bone, and it has some clinical significance in patients suffering from Bell’s Palsy.

What passes through Stylomastoid Foramen?

This foramen is the termination of facial canal, and it transmits facial nerve and stylomastoid artery. it is the main motor portion of facial nerve that passes through the Stylomastoid foramen.

Latin name: foramen stylomastoideum

Stylomastoid Foramen

The structures present around Stylomastoid foramen are Styloid process, mastoid process, jugular surface and stylopharyngeus.

Clinical significance

Bell’s Palsy is a form of facial paralysis that is caused due to either dysfunction or the inflammation of the facial nerve (7th cranial nerve). It can be caused due to the inflammation at the stylomastoid foramen where it leaves the skull.

Bell’s Palsy results in drooping of face on the side affected, and there can be inability to close the eye on that side. The inflammation at the foramen is not the only cause, but is one of the causes for Bell’s Palsy.

The other foramina of skull include foramen magnum, foramen ovale, foramen spinosum, foramen lacerum among others.

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