Supraorbital foramen

The supraorbital foramen, is a bony elongated opening located above the orbit (eye socket) and under the forehead. The supraorbital foramen lies directly under the eyebrow. Sometimes this foramen is incomplete and is then known as the supraorbital notch.[1]

Supraorbital foramen
The skull from the front. ("Supraorbital foramen"
is top caption for right side white-box.)
Frontal bone. Outer surface. ("Supraorbital notch
or foramen" labeled at lower right arch.)
Latinforamen supraorbitale
Anatomical terms of bone


The supraorbital foramen arches transversely below the superciliary arches and is the upper part of the brow ridge, thin and prominent in its lateral two-thirds, rounded in its medial third, and presenting, at the junction of these two portions, the supraorbital foramen or notch for the supraorbital nerve and vessels (supraorbital artery and supraorbital vein.)


The supraorbital foramen is a small groove at superior and medial margin of the orbit in the frontal bone. The supraorbital nerve passes through this notch prior to dividing into superficial and deep components that provide sensory innervation to the ipsilateral forehead. The supraorbital nerve is a branch of the frontal nerve arising from the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V).[2] The foramen sits on the inmost, lower margin of a groove splitting the supraorbital ridge into a central and two distal sections.[3]

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 186 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. Tortora, G; Derrickson, B (2011). Principles of anatomy & physiology (13th. ed.). Wiley. p. 214. ISBN 9780470646083.
  2. Knize, David M. (1995). "A study of the supraorbital nerve". Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 96 (3): 564–9. doi:10.1097/00006534-199509000-00007. PMID 7638280.
  3. Forehead Anatomy at eMedicine
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