Ala major ossis sphenoidalis is the large sphenoid wing. This refers to two strong bone plates, whose approach is on the body of the sphenoid bone.

What is the Ala major ossis sphenoidalis?

As Ala major ossis sphenoidalis or Alae majores ossis sphenoidales two powerful bone plates are called.

Their attachment lies laterally on the sphenoid bone (os sphenoidale). In addition to the large Keilbeinflügeln there are also the small Keilbeinflügel (Alae minores ossis sphenoidales). The posterior part of the sphenoid wing is related to the angle between the temporal squama (Squama ossis temporalis) and the temporal bone (Pars petrosa ossis temporalis) at the base of the temporal bone.

Anatomy & Construction

The Ala major ossis sphenoidalis is part of the sphenoid bone. Both sphenoidal wings bend concavely in the upper direction of the skull. The posterior aspect of the sphenoid ala majores articulates with the angled portion between the temporal calculus and the petrous part of the temporal bone.

On the back of the Keilbeinflügel a prominent bone strip can be seen, which points in the lower direction. It is the spina angularis ossis sphenoidalis. At her is the approach of the ligamentum sphenomandibulare. Likewise, the soft palate tensor muscle (tensor veli palatini muscle) has its origin at this point.

The Ala major ossis sphenoidalis is equipped with several surfaces. These are called superiore, lateral and orbital surfaces. From the intracranial superior surface of the sphenoid wing, a larger portion of the cranial fossa (middle fossa) is formed. The concave surface has a plurality of depressions. These absorb the cerebral convolutions of the temporal lobe. In the medial and in the front section is the forms rotundum, a round opening for the Oberkiefernerv (Nervus maxillaris).

On the posterior side of the foramen ovale is another opening that lets through the mandibular nerve (mandibular nerve) and the meningeal artery. In the middle section of the foramen ovale is sometimes a foramen vesalii settled, in which a small vein is located. This extends to the cavernous sinus. On the posterior side of the sphenoid wing is the foramen spinosum. It is traversed by the spinal nerve, which forms a branch of the lower jaw nerve, as well as the middle meningeal artery (arteria meningea media).

The convex lateral surface of the Ala major ossis sphenoidalis is divided into two sections by the Crista infratemporalis, a bone border. The temporal or superiore part represents a section of the temporal fossa. It also forms the origin of the temporal muscle (temporal muscle). The infratemporal or inferior portion of the lateral surface is smaller. He is involved in the modeling of the infratemporal fossa. Together with the crista infratemporalis, it forms the original surface of the outer wing muscle (lateral pterygoid muscle).

It comes to his drilling through the foramen spinosum and the foramen ovale. In the posterior area is the angular spine. It represents the origin of the sphenomandibular ligament and the soft palate of the soft palate. A quadrangular shape exhibits the smooth, flat orbital surface of the alum majoris sphenoidalis. It is directed in the front and middle direction. It also marks the posterior portion of the lateral orbital wall. The upper serrated edge of the orbital surface and the frontal bone (os frontale) articulate with each other.

The round lower area delimits the inferior orbital fissure. From the middle edge of the orbital surface, the lower lip of the superior orbital fissure is formed. From a small notch, a branch of the lacrimal artery (Arteria lacrimalis) is recorded. Below the middle end of the orbital fissure is a section of bone that is dented. It represents the posterior wall of the palatal fossa (fossa pterygopalatina).

Function & Tasks

As already mentioned, the alae majores ossis sphenoidales form part of the sphenoid bone. This is considered the central bone of the craniosacral system. Due to its unique anatomical structure, the sphenoid bone has connections to almost all other skull bones. The wing processes of the Keilbeinflügel make a direct connection to the hard palate. Without proper alignment of the sphenoid bone, there may be negative effects on the structures of the palate. This in turn has consequences for the jaw and the upper dentition.

Another important task of the sphenoid bone is the cooling of the hypophysis (pituitary gland), which immediately rests on it.


Deformity of the sphenoid bone also affects the Ala major ossis sphenoidalis. For example, if there is strong pressure on the ganglia, which are located between the processes of the sphenoid wings and the palatine bone, this can have negative consequences for the nasal mucous membranes.

So these are supplied as well as the nasopharynx and the nasal cavities of the ganglia. The typical consequence is a runny nose. In some people, this process causes increased sensitivity to allergies as they breathe in the allergens.

Disturbance of the sphenoid or the sphenoid wing can also affect the pituitary gland. Thus, improper alignment of the skull affect the cooling of the pituitary gland. Sphenoid problems also often have negative effects on the temporomandibular joint.

The outer sphenoid wing muscles exert direct influence on the lower jaw. For example, a disturbed balance of muscle can affect the lower jaw. If the position of the sphenoid bone is changed, this often causes disturbances of its movements and functions. The sequelae include primarily visual disturbances. In addition, craniofacial fracture, which is one of the most common sphenoidal injuries, may also adversely affect the Ala major ossis sphenoidalis.

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