Localization of the supraorbital, infraorbital, and mental foramina using palpable, bony landmarks

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to locate the infraorbital, supraorbital, and mental foramina by using palpable anatomical landmarks that are conducive to surgical use. Fourteen embalmed cadavers (27 sides) were dissected to expose the supraorbital, infraorbital, and mental foramina. Measurements were made from the lateral orbital rim at the zygomaticofrontal (ZF) suture to both the supraorbital and infraorbital foramina. The distance from the inferior orbital rim at the zygomaticomaxillary (ZM) suture to both foramina was also measured. The distance to the mental foramen was measured from the angle and the inferior border of the mandible. The supraorbital foramen was located 26.2 ± 2.8 mm medial and 13.5 ± 3.7 mm superior to the ZF suture. The infraorbital foramen was located 23.8 ± 3.1 mm medial and 30.9 ± 3.8 mm inferior to the ZF suture, on average. Vertical measurements made from the ZM suture to the supraorbital foramen averaged 34.4 ± 3.6 mm and from the ZM suture to the infraorbital foramina averaged 7.6 ± 2.2 mm. The mental foramen was 64.2 ± 6.4 mm medial to the angle of the mandible and 12.9 ± 1.6 mm superior to the inferior border of the mandible. This study provides data that may be useful in predicting the location of the supraorbital, infraorbital, and mental foramina using palpable landmarks. These data may be particularly helpful for surgery in patients with missing teeth or fractures of the maxillary bone. Clin. Anat., 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Ancillary