Foramen Spinosum

Author: Dr Peter de Souza
Last modified: 8 November 2022

Foramen Spinosum

The structure indicated is the foramen spinosum.

The floor of the cranial cavity consists of three cranial fossae:

  1. Anterior cranial fossa
  2. Middle cranial fossa
  3. Posterior cranial fossa

There are several holes in the floor of the cranial cavity which allow structures to enter and exit the skull, known as foramen. Foramen (foramina is plural), are holes in the human body which allow other structures to pass through. In the case of the skull, foramina permit the passage of arteries, veins and nerves.

The middle cranial fossa consists of the following foramina:

  • Superior orbital fissure
  • Foramen rotundum
  • Foramen ovale
  • Foramen spinosum
  • Foramen lacerum

The foramen spinosum is found in the greater wing of the sphenoid bone. There are three main foramina in the great wing of the sphenoid bone:

  1. Foramen spinosum
  2. Foramen ovale
  3. Foramen rotundum

The following structures pass through the foramen spinosum:

  • Middle meningeal artery
  • Middle meningeal vein
  • Meningeal branch of the mandibular nerve

Learn more about the foramina of the skull in this anatomy tutorial