Surface anatomy

Published on 13/06/2015 by admin

Filed under Basic Science

Last modified 13/06/2015

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Head and neck

Anterior aspect

Position Significance
Bridge of the nose, above and behind Cribriform plate: anterior cranial fossa fractures, anosmia, CSF rhinorrhoea
Supraorbital foramen Supraorbital nerve (Va) and vessels: fractures
Infraorbital foramen Infraorbital nerves (Vb) and vessels: fractures
Mental foramen Mental nerve (Vc) and vessels: fractures

Posterior aspect

Position Significance
External occipital protuberance, above Visual cortex
External occipital protuberance Confluence of sinuses
External occipital protuberance, below Cerebellum


Position Significance Approx. vertebral level
Hyoid bone, angle of mandible Tonsillar (jugulodigastric) node C2
Ear lobe (roughly) – sternoclavicular joint Internal jugular vein, deep cervical chain of lymph (deep to sternocleidomastoid)
Angle of mandible–midpoint of clavicle External jugular vein
Lateral to superior border of thyroid cartilage Bifurcation of common carotid artery, carotid pulse C3
Behind, and slightly below thyroid prominence Vocal cords C4
Cricothyroid membrane Laryngotomy site C5
Cricoid cartilage Cricopharyngeal sphincter, upper extent of oesophagus, trachea C6
Sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, clavicle Boundaries of posterior triangle
Posterior triangle: one-third of way down posterior border–one-third of way up anterior border Accessory nerve (XI)