Temporal fossa

The temporal fossa is a shallow depression on the side of the skull bounded by the temporal lines and terminating below the level of the zygomatic arch.

Temporal fossa
The temporal fossa is clearly visible in this picture
Latinfossa temporalis
Anatomical terminology


  • Medial: frontal bone, parietal bone, temporal bone, and sphenoid bone.
  • Lateral: Temporal fascia
  • Anterior: Posterior surface of the frontal process of the zygomatic bone and the posterior surface of the zygomatic process of the frontal bone.
  • Superior: Pair of temporal lines (superior and inferior temporal lines) that arch across the skull from the zygomatic process of the frontal bone to the supramastoid crest of the temporal bone
  • Inferior: Zygomatic arch laterally and by the infratemporal crest of the greater wing of the sphenoid medially.

Temporal & Infratemporal Fossa


Clinical significance

The pterion is located in the temporal fossa ,Clinically the pterion is an important area because it overlies the anterior division of the middle meningeal artery and vein.Trauma in this region can lead to an extradural haematoma , which can result in herniation of brain tissue and ischemia

Additional images

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