4.3.6 Bony structures around the nasopharynx



Now that we’ve seen the bony features of the nasal cavity, we’ll move back and look at the bones that surround the nasopharynx. Here’s the posterior opening of the nasal cavity, the choana, or posterior naris. Its lateral wall is formed by the medial pterygoid plate.

The medial pterygoid plate ends below in the hamulus. This piece of colored material represents the cartilage of the auditory tube. The cartilage forms an incomplete tube, open on the underside.

Close to the medial end of the cartilage is a group of openings in the base of the cranium that we’ve seen before from a different angle: the foramen ovale, foramen spinosum, the opening of the carotid canal, and the jugular foramen.

The roof of the nasopharynx, formed by the underside of the sphenoid, and the basal part of the occipital bone, slopes downward toward the foramen magnum.

To complete our picture of the bones around the nasopharynx, we’ll add the cervical vertebrae. Here’s the anterior arch of the atlas, and here’s the odontoid process of the axis.

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