The foramen lacerum is a small opening of the skull. The human skull consists of several hard bones. The substance of the bone is very stable and offers no possibility of passage. In this way, the skull is used to protect the brain.
In it, all recorded sensory stimuli and information are processed and behavior controlled. Emotions arise in the brain, the memory is contained there and all cognitive processes and consciousness are anchored there. For the brain to be sufficiently protected, it is sheathed in the skull. This is composed of different bones and is distinguished in the brain and the facial skull.
However, to ensure the supply of blood or nerves between the inner and outer area of the skull, there are several small holes. Through them, the blood and nerve tracts pass through undamaged and thus ensure an innervation of the various areas. The foramen lacerum belongs to the region formed by the skull cranial bones. It is located at the interface where the occipital bone, temporal bone, and sphenoid meet.
The human skull is formed from different bones. The foramen lacerum is an opening located in the caudal, posterior region of the skull base. It is set in pairs on both halves of the skull.
In the structure of the skull, the bones of the brain skull and the facial skull are to be distinguished from each other. All consist of hard bones and merge smoothly into each other. The brain skull is made up of 6 different bones. These are the occipital bone, the parietal bone, the temporal bone, the sphenoid bone, the frontal bone and the ethmoid bone. The foramen lacerum is formed by the occiput, the temporal bone and the sphenoid bone.
Physicians describe them as Os occipitale, Os temporale and Os spheniodale. At the temporal bone is the temporal bone. It is a pyramidal bone structure called Pars petrosa ossis temporalis. There is a bone canal, the canalis caroticus. At this point is the foramen lacerum. In addition, it is delineated by the posterior margin as well as the Proccessus petrosus of the sphenoid bone. The processus petrosus is a small extension of the bone of the sphenoid bone.
The foramen lacerum has as a small opening of the skull the task of allowing a passage of vessels and various fibers. This allows various blood and nerve tracts to make their way from the inside of the skull to the outer skull base. This ensures the supply of various areas inside and outside the skull.
The bloodstreams that pass through the foramen lacerum include various emissary veins and arteries. The emissary veins are the vein emissaria parietalis, the vein emissaria mastoidea, the vein occipitalis, the vena emissaria condylaris and the vein emissaria occipitalis. There are smaller veins that establish a connection between the superficial veins and the sinus inside the head. In addition, the arteria canalis pterygoidei and the ramus meningealis of the pharyngeal artery ascendens pass through the foramen lacerum. The arteria canalis pterygoidei supplies with its branches the nasal and oral cavities as well as the eustachian tube, the tuba auditiva.
The ramus meningealis of the Arteria pharyngea ascendens supplies with its branches the pharyngeal musculature, the tympanic cavity and the dura mater. In addition to the bloodstream, various nerve fibers pass through the foramen lacerum. These include the Nervus petrosus minor and the Nervus canalis pterygoidei. It combines the Nervus petrosus major and the Nervus petrosus profundus. The Nervus petrosus minor becomes the IX. Cranial nerve assigned. This is the glossopharyngeal nerve, with its branches the parotid gland. This is the largest gland in the human body responsible for producing saliva.
The foramen lacerum offers the possibility to pass through important blood and nerve pathways. The opening can be closed by tissue swelling of the adjacent brain areas. This leads to a congestion.
The congestion of the blood can cause the walls of the blood vessels to rupture. This causes bleeding, which can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness or loss of consciousness. In addition, the risk of a stroke or stroke increases. This may eventually result in death or lifelong paralysis of various systems of the body. In addition, a closure of the opening means that the nerve fibers can no longer continue unhindered their way and the corresponding organs are no longer adequately supplied. This has the consequence that the parotid gland as well as the Eustachian tube and the pharyngeal muscles are no longer sufficiently innervated and their function is limited.
As soon as the parotid gland produces less saliva, this has an effect on the swallowing process as well as the formation of speech. The food can no longer be sufficiently decomposed, the swallowing process is more difficult and the formation of sounds is limited. The pharyngeal musculature is important for the activity of the human dentition and the chewing process. The necessary strength of the four masticatory muscles is reduced. This has the consequence that the comminution of the food is more cumbersome and laborious. A failure of the systems is not expected, since the nerve fibers flow together to innervate the described organs via different ways.