Zygomatic bone

The zygomatic bone (os zygomaticum) is considered the strongest paired bone of the skull. The zygomatic bone is important in the articulation of the face. It connects the:

  • Frontal bone
  • Temporal bones
  • Maxilla, by the following articulating processes:
  • Frontal process (processus frontalis), which articulates with the zygomatic process of the frontal bone and with t he greater wing of the sphenoid bone.
  • Temporal process (processus temporalis), which articulates with the zygomatic process of the temporal bone to form the zygomatic arch.

The zygomatic bone has three surfaces:

  • Lateral surface (facies lateralis) that extends laterally.
  • Temporal surface (facies temporalis).
  • Orbital surface (facies orbitalis) that forms the lateral surfaces of the orbital wall.

The zygomatic bone has three foramina:

  • Zygomaticoorbital foramen (foramen zy- gomaticoorbitale) which exists between the orbital cavity and zygomatic bone.
  • Zygomaticotemporal foramen (foramen zygomaticotemporale) which exists between the zygomatic bone and the temporal bone.
  • Zygomaticofacial foramen (foramen zy- gomaticofaciale) which is located at the middle part of the zygomatic bone.

Clinical comments

The zygomatic bone is the second most common place of face fractures after nasal bone fractures.  Zygomatic bone fractures usually involve the orbit, causing visual complications. The branches of the trigeminal and facial cranial nerves located within the boundaries can be damaged also (causing  paresthesia and paresis, respectively).