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Submitted: 2023-05-25
Accepted: 2023-07-21
Published online: 2023-11-09
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A morphometric and morphological analysis of the foramen magnum, hypoglossal canal and occipital condyles in a select South African population

Seth Hendricks1, Sundika Ishwarkumar2, Pamela Pillay1
·
Pubmed: 37957931
Affiliations
  1. Department of Clinical Anatomy, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  2. Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

open access

Ahead of Print
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2023-05-25
Accepted: 2023-07-21
Published online: 2023-11-09

Abstract

Background: The foramen magnum is a centralised structure found at the base of the skull. This orifice is a passageway that allows secondary structures, such as the medulla oblongata and meninges, to pass through. The occipital condyles is a small structure on either side of the foramen magnum, forming the craniovertebral joint. The hypoglossal canal is an orifice located on the occipital canal, providing a passageway for hypoglossal nerves. The study aimed to document the morphology and morphometry of the foramen magnum, occipital condyles and hypoglossal canals within a South African population.

Materials and methods: Fifty skulls (n=50) were randomly selected from the Department of Clinical Anatomy, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal. This study investigated the morphological and morphometric parameters of the foramen magnum, occipital condyles and hypoglossal canal. The morphometric parameters were measured using a digital Vernier calliper. The data was statistically analysed using SPSS, and a p-value of <0.05 was deemed statistically significant.

Results: The mean length and width of the foramen magnum was found to be 35.19mm and 27.77mm, respectively. The mean index of the foramen magnum was 1.3, which indicated that the foramen magnum was predominantly oval-shaped within the selected sample. The occipital condyles have a mean length and width of 21.73mm and 12.87mm, respectively. Furthermore, the most prevalent shape of the occipital condyles was oval. The mean length and width of the hypoglossal canals were 5.14mm and 3.87mm, respectively. While the most prevalent shape of the hypoglossal canal was oval and round on the right and left sides, respectively.

Conclusions: The findings of this study may assist in reducing the risk of injury and mortalities during trans-condylar approach procedures.

Abstract

Background: The foramen magnum is a centralised structure found at the base of the skull. This orifice is a passageway that allows secondary structures, such as the medulla oblongata and meninges, to pass through. The occipital condyles is a small structure on either side of the foramen magnum, forming the craniovertebral joint. The hypoglossal canal is an orifice located on the occipital canal, providing a passageway for hypoglossal nerves. The study aimed to document the morphology and morphometry of the foramen magnum, occipital condyles and hypoglossal canals within a South African population.

Materials and methods: Fifty skulls (n=50) were randomly selected from the Department of Clinical Anatomy, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal. This study investigated the morphological and morphometric parameters of the foramen magnum, occipital condyles and hypoglossal canal. The morphometric parameters were measured using a digital Vernier calliper. The data was statistically analysed using SPSS, and a p-value of <0.05 was deemed statistically significant.

Results: The mean length and width of the foramen magnum was found to be 35.19mm and 27.77mm, respectively. The mean index of the foramen magnum was 1.3, which indicated that the foramen magnum was predominantly oval-shaped within the selected sample. The occipital condyles have a mean length and width of 21.73mm and 12.87mm, respectively. Furthermore, the most prevalent shape of the occipital condyles was oval. The mean length and width of the hypoglossal canals were 5.14mm and 3.87mm, respectively. While the most prevalent shape of the hypoglossal canal was oval and round on the right and left sides, respectively.

Conclusions: The findings of this study may assist in reducing the risk of injury and mortalities during trans-condylar approach procedures.

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Keywords

foramen magnum, occipital condyle, hypoglossal canal, morphological, morphometric, trans-condylar approach

About this article
Title

A morphometric and morphological analysis of the foramen magnum, hypoglossal canal and occipital condyles in a select South African population

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Ahead of Print

Article type

Original article

Published online

2023-11-09

Page views

214

Article views/downloads

178

DOI

10.5603/fm.95734

Pubmed

37957931

Keywords

foramen magnum
occipital condyle
hypoglossal canal
morphological
morphometric
trans-condylar approach

Authors

Seth Hendricks
Sundika Ishwarkumar
Pamela Pillay

References (14)
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