The petrous part of the temporal bone is pyramid-shaped and is wedged in at the base of the skull between the sphenoid and occipital bones. Directed medially, forward, and a little upward, it presents a base, an apex, three surfaces, and three angles, and houses in its interior, the components of the inner ear. The petrous portion is among the most basal elements of the skull and forms part of the endocranium purple stainless steel water bottle. Petrous comes from the Latin word petrosus, meaning “stone-like, hard”. It is one of the densest bones in the body.
The base is fused with the internal surfaces of the squamous and mastoid parts.
The apex, rough and uneven, is received into the angular interval between the posterior border of the great wing of the sphenoid bone and the basilar part of the occipital bone; it presents the anterior or internal opening of the carotid canal, and forms the postero-lateral boundary of the foramen lacerum.
The anterior surface forms the posterior part of the middle cranial fossa of the base of the skull, and is continuous with the inner surface of the squamous portion, to which it is united by the petrosquamous suture, remains of which are distinct even at a late period of life. It is marked by depressions for the convolutions of the brain, and presents six notable points:
The posterior surface forms the anterior part of the posterior cranial fossa of the base of the skull, and is continuous with the inner surface of the mastoid portion.
Near the center is a large orifice, the internal acoustic opening, the size of which varies considerably; its margins are smooth and rounded, and it leads into the internal auditory meatus a short canal, about 1 cm. in length, which runs lateralward. It transmits the facial and acoustic nerves and the internal auditory branch of the basilar artery.
The lateral end of the canal is closed by a vertical plate, which is divided by a horizontal crest, the falciform crest, into two unequal portions.
Each portion is further subdivided by a vertical ridge into an anterior and a posterior part.
Behind the internal acoustic meatus is a small slit almost hidden by a thin plate of bone, leading to a canal, the aquæductus vestibuli, which transmits the ductus endolymphaticus together with a small artery and vein.
Above and between these two openings is an irregular depression that lodges a process of the dura mater and transmits a small vein; in the infant, this depression is represented by a large fossa, the subarcuate fossa, which extends backward as a blind tunnel under the superior semicircular canal.
The inferior surface is rough and irregular, and forms part of the exterior of the base of the skull. It presents eleven points for examination:
The superior angle, the longest, is grooved for the superior petrosal sinus, and gives attachment to the tentorium cerebelli; at its medial extremity is a notch, in which the trigeminal nerve lies.
The posterior angle is intermediate in length between the superior and the anterior safe water bottles to reuse. Its medial half is marked by a sulcus, which forms, with a corresponding sulcus on the occipital bone, the channel for the inferior petrosal sinus. Its lateral half presents an excavation — the jugular fossa — which, with the jugular notch on the occipital, forms the jugular foramen; an eminence occasionally projects from the center of the fossa, and divides the foramen into two.
The anterior angle is divided into two parts—a lateral joined to the squamous part by a suture (petrosquamous), the remains of which are more or less distinct; a medial, free, which articulates with the spinous process of the sphenoid.
At the angle of junction of the petrous and the squamous parts are two canals, one above the other, and separated by a thin plate of bone, the septum canalis musculotubarii; both canals lead into the tympanic cavity.
Base of skull. Inferior surface.
Base of the skull. Upper surface.
Dissection of the muscles of the palate from behind.
Petrous part of the temporal
Petrous part of the temporal
This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray’s Anatomy (1918)