Inferior Nasal Concha

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Published on November 18th 2022 by

What is the Inferior Nasal Concha

The inferior nasal concha is a small, paired facial bone. It is one of the three bony structures that form the lateral wall of the nasal cavity, the other two being the superior and middle conchae. Unlike these two, the inferior nasal concha is an independent bone in the skull.

Where is it located

They are located in the nasal cavity, protruding horizontally from the lateral wall on both sides.

Quick Facts

How many are there in the human body2
Articulates with Ethmoid (1), maxilla (2), palatine (2), and lacrimal (2) bones

Functions

  • Controlling the direction of the airflow during breathing
  • Filtering, heating, and humidifying the inhaled air

Anatomy

It is the biggest of the three nasal conchae and can be almost as long as the index finger, remaining curled up like a scroll. The bone is made up of a lamina of spongy bone, having two borders, two surfaces, and two extremities.

Filename: Inferior Nasal Concha

Surfaces

1. Medial surface

It is a convex surface full of small perforations for apertures and marked with longitudinal grooves for accommodating several blood vessels.

2. Lateral surface

It is the concave surface that partially forms the inferior nasal meatus, the part of the nasal cavity that lies beneath the inferior nasal concha. 

Borders

1. Upper border

It is the irregular, thin border that articulates with several bones along the nasal cavity. It can be divided into the following:

  • The anterior part articulates with the maxilla’s conchal crest.
  • The posterior part articulates with the palatine’s conchal crest.
  • The middle part features three distinct processes named after the bones they articulate with: 
    • Lacrimal process: A small, pointed protrusion with a pointed apex articulating with the lacrimal bone’s descending process. Its margins articulate with the frontal process of the maxilla. Thus, the lacrimal process helps form the nasolacrimal canal.
    • Ethmoidal process: A wide thin bony plate, it is located behind the lacrimal process, from where it ascends to articulate with the ethmoid’s uncinate process.
    • Maxillary process: It extends from the lower border of the ethmoidal process, curving down laterally to articulate with the maxilla, contributing to the maxillary sinus’s medial wall.

2. Inferior border

It is the thick free lower border with a spongy structure, especially towards the middle of the inferior nasal concha.

Extremities

The anterior and posterior extremities are the tapering ends of the bone, with the posterior one being narrower. 

References

    1. Inferior nasal concha: RadioPaedia.org
    2. Nasal Conchae: KenHub.com
    3. Anatomy, Head and Neck, Nasal Concha: NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov
    4. Inferior Nasal Concha: IMAIOS.com 
    5. Inferior Nasal Concha: Anatomy.app

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