Medically the evaluation by Seunggu Han, M.D. — created by Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D. — to update on may 24, 2018

What are cranial bones?

Your skull offers structure to your head and also face while additionally protecting your brain. The skeleton in your skull deserve to be split into the cranial bones, which type your cranium, and facial bones, which make up your face.

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There space several varieties of skeleton within her body, including:

long bonesshort bonesflat bonesirregular bonessesamoid bones

There room two varieties in her cranium:

Irregular bones. These space bones with complicated shapes that don’t fit into any kind of of the other categories.

There room eight cranial bones, each with a distinctive shape:

Frontal bone. This is the level bone that makes up your forehead. It also forms the upper portion of her eye sockets.Parietal bones. This a pair of level bones located on either next of her head, behind the frontal bone.Temporal bones. This is a pair of irregular bones situated under each of the parietal bones.Occipital bone. This is a flat bone situated in the an extremely back of your skull. It has actually an opened that allows your spinal cord to affix to her brain. Sphenoid bone. This is an irregular bone that sits below the frontal bone. It spans the width of your skull and also forms a large part of the basic of your skull. Ethmoid bone. This is an rarely often rare bone situated in prior of the sphenoid bone. It provides up part of her nasal cavity.

Your cranial skeletal are held together by distinct joints dubbed sutures, which are made of special connective tissue. Castle irregularly shaped, allowing them to tightly sign up with all the uniquely shame cranial bones. The sutures nothing fuse until adulthood, which allows your mind to continue growing throughout childhood and adolescence.

diagram of cranial bones

Explore the interactive 3-D diagram listed below to learn more about the cranial bones.

Cranial bone conditions

Several injuries and health problems can impact your cranial bones, consisting of fractures and also congenital conditions.


A fracture describes any kind of break in a bone. There are several species of skull fracture the can influence cranial bones, together as:

Depressed. This refers to a fracture the makes part of her skull show up sunken.Linear. A straight fracture in a cranial bone way there’s a break in the bone, but the bone itself hasn’t moved.Basilar. This type involves a rest in one of the bones close to the basic of her skull, such as the sphenoid bone. This is a serious problem requiring immediate treatment.Diastatic. A diastatic fracture wake up along among the sutures of her skull, make it wider than usual. It’s usually seen in infants.

In plenty of cases, skull fractures aren’t as painful together they sound, and also they regularly heal top top their own without surgery. However, an ext severe fractures might require surgery.


Some infants are born v a condition called craniosynostosis, which involves the premature closing that skull sutures. This leader to an abnormally shaped skull and can sometimes influence facial features.

There are several species of craniosynostosis, depending on the sutures castle affect:

Bicoronal synostosis. babies with this type may have actually a flattened and also elevated forehead.Coronal synostosis. This type can reason flattening on one next of the forehead and impact the form of the eye socket and nose.Lambdoid synostosis. This can lead to flattening ~ above one side of the earlier of the skull. It have the right to also influence the placing of the ear or reason the skull come tilt sideways.Metopic synostosis. This can cause a triangle-shaped skull or spicy forehead. That can likewise make the eyes show up closer together.Sagittal synostosis. This form may reason the forehead come bulge out. The area around the holy places might additionally appear very narrow, making the head look at elongated.

Craniosynostosis needs surgical therapy to avoid later complications.

Other conditions

Some other conditions that can impact the cranial skeletal include:

Cleidocranial dysplasia. Mutations to a specific gene cause unusual breakthrough of the teeth and bones, including the cranial bones. Usual symptoms incorporate a sloped forehead, extra bone in ~ skull sutures, and also an enlarged skull.Craniometaphyseal dysplasia. This is one inherited problem that reasons thickening of the cranial bones, which have the right to lead to a protruding forehead and wide-set eyes. Paget’s condition of bone. brand-new bone organization is quickly made due to unusual behavior of osteoclasts, which space a kind of bone cell. World with this problem are an ext prone to fractures because the impacted bone is commonly weaker.Fibrous dysplasia. This reasons the advance of scarlike tissue rather of bone tissue because of a mutation in bone-producing cells. It has tendency to only influence a solitary bone at a time, though more may be associated in part cases.Osteomas. one osteoma is a benign overgrowth that bone on the skull. Civilization with osteomas frequently have no symptoms. However, if the development puts push on a nerve, that can cause hearing and vision problems. These normally resolve when the expansion is removed.

Symptoms the a cranial bone condition

With every the frameworks in her head and neck, that sometimes difficult to pinpoint when symptoms are coming from an problem with the cranial bones.

Symptoms that suggest some type of cranial bone fracture include:

clear liquid or blood draining native your ear or nosea feeling of weak in her face

Symptoms that a structural issue with the cranial bones include:

a dull, aching painnumbness or tingling in her facehearing or vision problemsunusually shaped head or face features

Your cranial bones are the key defense mechanism for your brain, for this reason it’s important to preserve their health by:

Wearing a helmet. always wear a helmet as soon as riding anything on wheels, including bikes, skateboards, and scooters. Change damaged or dented helmets and also make certain they fit properly.Fastening your seatbelt. constantly wear a seatbelt once traveling in a car.

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Reducing your hazard of falling. certain anything, such as loose electrical cords, the could reason someone come trip. If you have mobility issues, consider installing handrails and also grab bars in areas, such together the shower head or stairs.

If you have actually an infant, be sure to monitor their head because that anything unusual. You can additionally make sure you child doesn’t continue to be in one place for too long. Some means to do this include:

alternating the direction her baby’s head deals with when putting them to bedholding her baby once they’re awake rather of placing lock in a crib, swing, or carrier, as soon as possiblechanging the eight you organize your infant with once feedingallowing your child to pat on your stomach under close supervision

Medically the evaluation by Seunggu Han, M.D. — composed by Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D. — updated on may 24, 2018