c) Pterygopalatine Fossa

The pterygopalatine fossa is a tiny space that lies on the deep aspect of the infratemporal fossa. It communicates with most other cavities of the head and neck:

  • The middle cranial fossa through foramen rotundum and the pterygoid canal
  • The orbit through the inferior orbital fissure
  • The oral cavity via the greater palatine canal
  • The nasopharynx via the pterygovaginal canal
  • the nasal cavity via ….

The fossa is wedged between the posterior maxilla and the body of the sphenoid.

Arterial structures

Venous structures


The principal nerve of the fossa is the maxillary nerve. It sneers the fossa through foramen rotundum, and then passes anterior and superior to enter the inferior orbital fissure. Within the fossa it gives off the posterior superior