Skull Landmarks

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Skull anterior view
Thoracic inlet


How to palpate skull landmarks

Mastoid process

This is the big lump behind the ear lobe. Part of the temporal bone, it moves medially on inhale. Move posterior to feel the occipital mastoid suture.

Temporal Squama

It is mostly anterior to the ear. The external meatus is just inferior to the line of the tentorium.

Sphenoid greater wing

If you find the lateral corner of your eye and move lateral away from the eye there is a bony ridge, this is where the frontal bone meets the zygoma. As you move more lateral, going over the ridge it will feel relatively soft, go gently, under your finger is the greater wing of the sphenoid. It is covered by the temporalis muscle. A classic piece of anatomy awareness in cranial work. Just superior is the pterion. Which 4 bones meet here?

Coronal suture, bregma and frontal eminences

Bregma is the meeting place of the coronal and sagittal sutures. The coronal suture is between the frontal and parietal bones. If you imagine a Frankenstein square head the frontal eminences are the 2 lumps on frontal bone that roughly correspond to the anterior corners of the head. Moving posterior from the eminences you can often feel an indentation along the coronal suture.

Parietal eminences

Posterior ‘corners’ of the head.

External occipital proturberance

Also called the inion, a very useful midline landmark on the occiput. Directly in front is the end of Sutherland’s fulcrum.

Relevant Anatomy