Vomer

Published on June 24th 2022 by

What is the Vomer

The vomer is one of the fourteen facial bones that form the facial skeleton or viscerocranium. This thin, flat, unpaired bone sits in the center of the nasal cavity, constructing the nasal septum. The bone is named so due to its shape; as in Latin, the word vomer refers to ‘plowshare’.

Where is the Vomer Bone Located

The bone is placed vertically in the middle of the nasal cavity.

Quick Facts

TypeIrregular bone
How many are there in the human body2
Articulates with5 bones: maxilla, vomer, inferior nasal concha, ethmoid, and sphenoid bones.
Vomer

Functions

  • It forms the posteroinferior part of the nasal septum, along with the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone and nasal septal cartilage. Thus it divides the nasal cavity into left and right.
  • It also features some grooves through which several nerves and blood vessels of the nasal cavity pass.

Anatomy

The surfaces and borders of the bone, along with their important bony landmarks, are discussed below:

Surfaces

As the vomer is a flat bone, it has two surfaces. It bears an oblique groove called the nasopalatine groove or vomerine groove on each surface. The nasopalatine nerves and vessels pass through this groove.

Vomer Location

Borders

The four borders of this trapezoid-shaped bone are:

  1. Superior border: It is the thickest border, featuring two lateral wing-like projections, the alae of the vomer. In between the two alae, a deep furrow is present where the rostrum of the sphenoid articulates. The margins of alae articulate with the vaginal process of the sphenoid and the sphenoidal process of the palatine bone. The vomerovaginal canal runs between these alae and the vaginal process of the sphenoid bone

The vertical perpendicular plate, a thin bony sheet, lies below the wings in the midline of the vomer, forming its main part.

  1. Inferior border: It articulates with the median nasal crest, jointly formed by the maxillae and palatine bones. 
  2. Anterior border: It is the longest border of the vomer. The upper half of this border articulates with the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone. On the other hand, its grooved lower half joins with the inferior margin of nasal septal cartilage.
  3. Posterior border: This concave border does not articulate with any other neighboring bones. It is thick and bifid on the upper side, becoming thinner as we move down. Its only job is to separate the posterior nasal apertures or conchae (internal nostrils).

Ossification

Vomer undergoes intramembranous ossification from two centers, which arise during the 9th week of the fetal stage. The centers develop in the mucoperichondrium at the lower border of the nasal septum.

References

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