The sphenoid bone carries its share of creating part of the base of the cranium. While it can be seen laterally and inferiorly, the shape of the bone is a bit unusual and is often described as moth or butterfly like. The butterfly shape looks very much like the body accompanied by the two wings which form the orbit
. The "body" of the bone consists of the sphenoidal sinuses
and the saddle shaped depression
which is remarkably prominent. This is called the sella turcica. Commonly referred to as "Turk's saddle," this is where the pituitary gland
resides. The lateral walls of the nasal
cavity are assisted in formation by the inferior projection of pterygoid process. The sphenoid bone is associated with ample foramina properties.
SPHENOID BONE STRUCTURE
The smaller portion of the "wing" in the rear of the skull
helps create a large opening that allows the transfer of optic nerve
passageway through the optic canal. The ophthalmic artery also transverses through this passageway. A triangular opening that can be found in between the "wings" associated with the sphenoid bone. This opening is known as the superior orbital fissure and is designed to allow the ophthalmic nerve
safe passage to the eyes. The ophthalmic nerve is part of the trigeminal nerve
. Additionally, the trochlear nerve
, the oculomotor nerve
, and the abducens nerve
all travel through this same triangular opening.