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Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology

Study of posterior condylar foramen in dry human skulls

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Author Details: Manoj Borkute, K. Shyam Kishore

Volume : 4

Issue : 1

Online ISSN : 2394-2126

Print ISSN : 2394-2118

Article First Page : 44

Article End Page : 47


Introduction: Posterior condylar foramen is the most constantly present emissary foramen in human skull. It is also considered as largest emissary foramen present in humans. Of the two large emissary veins of posterior cranial fossa, one of them i.e. posterior condylar vein passes through posterior condylar foramen. Condylar veins are also important channels of venous drainage for posterior cranial fossa region. Emissary veins are important in equalising intracranial pressure. They can act as safety valves in cerebral congestion.
Method: Material for this study consists of 100 dry adult skulls obtained from two teaching institutes in Maharashtra state. These skulls were carefully observed for posterior condylar foramen. Whether foramen was present unilaterally or bilaterally or was absent on both sides was noted.
Result: Posterior condylar foramen was present on both sides (bilaterally) in 58 skulls. In 15 skulls it was present only on right side where as in 10 skulls it was present only on left side. Foramen was found to be absent on both sides in 17 skulls. When present unilaterally it was more common on right side than left.
Conclusion: Posterior condylar foramen was not only important from anthropological point of view but also important for clinicians and surgeons who deal with posterior cranial fossa region. Condylar vein (posterior) and posterior condylar foramen (canal) both are important surgical landmarks for different skull base approaches described. Enlarged posterior condylar canal can be wrongly interpreted as pathological condition in certain radiological procedures like MRI.

Keywords: Emissary Vein, Posterior Condylar Foramen, Posterior Condylar Vein, Variation, Posterolateral Approach