Fossa (anatomy)

In anatomy, a fossa (/ˈfɒsə/;[1][2] plural fossae (/ˈfɒsiː/ or /ˈfɒsaɪ/); from the Latin "fossa", ditch or trench) is a depression or hollow, usually in a bone, such as the hypophyseal fossa (the depression in the sphenoid bone).[3] Some examples include:

In the Skull:

In the Torso:

In the Upper Limb:

In the Lower Limb:

Anatomical terminology

See also


  1. ^ OED 2nd edition, 1989.
  2. ^ Entry "fossa" in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
  3. ^ Venieratos D, Anagnostopoulou S, Garidou A., A new morphometric method for the sella turcica and the hypophyseal fossa and its clinical relevance.;Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2005 Nov;64(4):240-7. PMID 16425149
Bicipital aponeurosis

The bicipital aponeurosis (also known as lacertus fibrosus) is a broad aponeurosis of the biceps brachii which is located in the cubital fossa of the elbow and separates superficial from deep structures in much of the fossa.

The bicipital aponeurosis originates from the distal insertion of the biceps brachii. While the tendon of the biceps inserts on the radial tuberosity, the aponeurosis reinforces the cubital fossa, and helps to protect the brachial artery and the median nerve running underneath. This protection is important during venipuncture (taking blood) from the median cubital vein.

It is one structure that has to be incised during fasciotomy in the treatment of acute compartment syndrome of the forearm and elbow region.

Some individuals (about 3% of the population) have a superficial ulnar artery that runs superficially to the bicipital aponeurosis instead of underneath it. These individuals are at risk for accidental injury to the ulnar artery during venipuncture.

Cerebellar veins

Cerebellar veins are veins which drain the cerebellum.

They consist of the superior cerebellar veins and the inferior cerebellar veins.

The superior cerebellar veins pass partly forward and medialward, across the superior vermis, to end in the straight sinus and the internal cerebral veins, partly lateralward to the transverse and superior petrosal sinuses.

The inferior cerebellar veins are of large size and end in the transverse, superior petrosal, and occipital sinuses.

Cranial fossa

Cranial fossa is formed by the floor of the cranial cavity.

Cranial fossa is divided into three distinct part and can be referred to:

Anterior cranial fossa (fossa cranii anterior), houses the projecting frontal lobes of the brain

Middle cranial fossa (fossa cranii media), separated from the posterior fossa by the clivus and the petrous crest

Posterior cranial fossa (fossa cranii posterior), between the foramen magnum and tentorium cerebelli, contains the brainstem and cerebellum

Foramen spinosum

The foramen spinosum is one of two foramina located in the base of the human skull, on the sphenoid bone. It is situated just anterior to the spine of the sphenoid bone, and just lateral to the foramen ovale. The middle meningeal artery, middle meningeal vein, and the meningeal branch of the mandibular nerve pass through the foramen.

The foramen spinosum is often used as a landmark in neurosurgery, due to its close relations with other cranial foramina. It was first described by Jakob Benignus Winslow in the 18th century.


In human anatomy, the forehead is an area of the head bounded by three features, two of the skull and one of the scalp. The top of the forehead is marked by the hairline, the edge of the area where hair on the scalp grows. The bottom of the forehead is marked by the supraorbital ridge, the bone feature of the skull above the eyes. The two sides of the forehead are marked by the temporal ridge, a bone feature that links the supraorbital ridge to the coronal suture line and beyond.In Terminologia Anatomica, sinciput is given as the Latin equivalent to "forehead". (Etymology of sinciput: from semi- "half" + caput "head".)

Glossary of medicine

This glossary of medical terms is a list of definitions about medicine, its sub-disciplines, and related fields.

Most of the terms listed in Wikipedia glossaries are already defined and explained within Wikipedia itself. However, glossaries like this one are useful for looking up, comparing and reviewing large numbers of terms together. You can help enhance this page by adding new terms or writing definitions for existing ones.

Iliac fossa

The iliac fossa is a large, smooth, concave surface on the internal surface of the ilium (part of the 3 fused bones making the hip bone). The fossa is bounded above by the iliac crest, and below by the arcuate line; in front and behind, by the anterior and posterior borders of the ilium.

The fossa gives origin to the Iliacus muscle and is perforated at its inner part by a nutrient canal; below this there is a smooth, rounded border, the arcuate line, which runs anterior, inferior, and medial.

When the "left" or "right" adjective is used (e.g "right iliac fossa"), the iliac fossa usually means one of the nine regions of the abdomen.

Ischioanal fossa

The ischioanal fossa (formerly called ischiorectal fossa) is the fat-filled wedge shaped space located lateral to the anal canal and inferior to the pelvic diaphragm. It is somewhat prismatic in shape, with its base directed to the surface of the perineum, and its apex at the line of meeting of the obturator and anal fasciae.

Jugular fossa

The jugular fossa is a deep depression in the inferior part of the base of the skull. More specifically, it is located in the temporal bone, posterior to the carotid canal and the aquæductus cochleæ. It is of variable depth and size in different skulls; it lodges the bulb of the internal jugular vein.In the bony ridge dividing the carotid canal from the jugular fossa is the small inferior tympanic canaliculus for the passage of the tympanic branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve.In the lateral part of the jugular fossa is the mastoid canaliculus for the entrance of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve.Behind the jugular fossa is a quadrilateral area, the jugular surface, covered with cartilage in the fresh state, and articulating with the jugular process of the occipital bone.

Lateral inguinal fossa

The lateral inguinal fossa is a structure described in human anatomy. It is a shallow concave stretch of peritoneum on the deep surface of the anterior abdominal wall and is best seen from the greater peritoneal cavity, looking anteriorly (as, for example, during laparoscopy).

List of anatomy mnemonics

This is a list of human anatomy mnemonics, categorized and alphabetized. For mnemonics in other medical specialities, see this list of medical mnemonics.


In anatomy, a meatus , plural "meatus" or "meatuses", is a natural body opening or canal.

Meatus may refer to:

the external acoustic meatus, the opening of the ear canal

The internal auditory meatus, a canal in the temporal bone of the skull

the urinary meatus, which is the opening of the urethra, situated on the glans penis in males, and in the vulva in females

the superior meatus, middle meatus and inferior meatus of the nose(The plural forms of "meatus" are: meatus, as a Latin form (of the fourth declension noun class, which the word belongs to); or meatuses, as a normally derived English plural; or often, and incorrectly, meati, by false analogy with the very common Latin -us/-i forms (such as alumnus/alumni), i.e., the second declension noun class.)

Medial inguinal fossa

The medial inguinal fossa is a depression located within the inguinal triangle on the peritoneal surface of the anterior abdominal wall between the ridges formed by the lateral umbilical fold and the medial umbilical ligament, corresponding to the superficial inguinal ring.

Middle cranial fossa

The middle cranial fossa, deeper than the anterior cranial fossa, is narrow medially and widens laterally to the sides of the skull. It is separated from the posterior fossa by the clivus and the petrous crest.

It is bounded in front by the posterior margins of the lesser wings of the sphenoid bone, the anterior clinoid processes, and the ridge forming the anterior margin of the chiasmatic groove; behind, by the superior angles of the petrous portions of the temporal bones and the dorsum sellæ; laterally by the temporal squamæ, sphenoidal angles of the parietals, and greater wings of the sphenoid. It is traversed by the squamosal, sphenoparietal, sphenosquamosal, and sphenopetrosal sutures.

It houses the temporal lobes of the brain and the pituitary gland. A middle fossa craniotomy is one means to surgically remove acoustic neuromas (vestibular schwannoma) growing within the internal auditory canal of the temporal bone.

Posterior cranial fossa

The posterior cranial fossa is part of the cranial cavity, located between the foramen magnum and tentorium cerebelli. It contains the brainstem and cerebellum.

This is the most inferior of the fossae. It houses the cerebellum, medulla and pons.

Anteriorly it extends to the apex of the petrous temporal. Posteriorly it is enclosed by the occipital bone. Laterally portions of the squamous temporal and mastoid part of the temporal bone form its walls.

Sacrotuberous ligament

The sacrotuberous ligament (great or posterior sacrosciatic ligament) is situated at the lower and back part of the pelvis. It is flat, and triangular in form; narrower in the middle than at the ends.

Spine of sphenoid bone

The great wings, or alae-sphenoids, are two strong processes of bone, which arise from the sides of the body, and are curved upward, lateralward, and backward; the posterior part of each projects as a triangular process which fits into the angle between the squama and the petrous portion of the temporal bone and presents at its apex a downwardly directed process, the spina angularis (sphenoidal spine). It serves as the origin for the sphenomandibular ligament.

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