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StatPearls . Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.



The zygomatic bone (or zygoma) is a paired, irregular bone that defines the anterior and also lateral parts of the face. The zygomatic complex is affiliated in the defense of the materials of the orbit and the edge of the face and also cheeks.<1>

Structure and Function

The zygomatic bones are a pair that diamond-shaped, irregularly-shaped bones the protrude laterally and type the importance of the cheeks, a portion of the lateral wall, the orbit floor, and also some parts of the temporal fossa and infratemporal fossa. Usually, the zygomatic bone is a single bone bounded by sutures that articulate v the frontal, maxilla, temporal, and sphenoid bones, but it deserve to be separated by extra sutures right into two or an ext parts.<2> for the most part, over there is one extra suture the runs perpendicularly native the facial component of the maxillozygomatic suture and also dorsolaterally come the zygomatic bone, i m sorry imparts that a bipartite morphology.<2> The zygomatic bone have the right to withstand the pressures of mastication and also transmitting reactionary pressures from the maxilla. It likewise plays a an essential role in preserving the aesthetic beauty, beauty and function of the face and also protecting the eyes.<2><3> The zygomatic arch is also critical in the mastication system, together it provides rise to the masseter muscle, i beg your pardon is the significant jaw adductor in mammals.<3> It forms from the temporal process of the zygomatic bone and the zygomatic procedure of the temporal bone.<4>


In mammals, the vertebrate head evolves native neural crest cells. Neural stakes cells different from the ectoderm and also migrate to various other locations, such together the pharyngeal arches and also facial prominences, to distinguish into assorted tissues.<5> The neural crest cells most most likely responsible because that the development of the zygomatic bone room from the an initial pharyngeal arch. Bones native this embryonic facial structure later on evolve right into bony nasal passages and also bones, such as the mandible, maxilla, malleus, Palatine, and zygomatic bones. The faster skeleton of occurring vertebrates arises from cartilage. However, as advancement goes on, bones begin to form by intramembranous ossification and also give climb to cranial and facial bones, consisting of the zygomatic bones.<5>

Blood Supply and also Lymphatics

The blood supply because that the face bones is mainly provided by the maxillary artery, i beg your pardon originates from a terminal branch that the exterior carotid artery.<6> However, a previous study by Gharb et al. Prove the facial artery plays a codominant duty in the blood it is provided of facial bones, as it develops anastomoses v the maxillary artery and also vascularizes the body and also the maxillary, frontal, and temporal procedures of the zygomatic bone.<7>


The facial nerve (cranial nerve VII) is generally responsible because that innervating the muscles of the face. It originates native the mind stem and travels posteriorly come the abducens nerve and also anteriorly to the vestibulocochlear nerve.<8> It then traverses v the temporal bone and also the stylomastoid foramen whereby it branches off at the parotid gland. The extratemporal an ar of the facial nerve has five terminal branches: the temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular, and also cervical branches.<8> The temporal branch innervates the frontalis and also orbicularis oris if the zygomatic branch innervates the middle an ar of the face. The buccal branch gives sensation to the zygomatic and also buccinator muscle while the mandibular branch innervates the lower an ar of the face. Finally, the cervical branch offers sensation to the muscles listed below the chin and the platysma muscle.<8>

The zygomatic nerve, i beg your pardon originates from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve, provides off the zygomaticotemporal and zygomaticofacial branches.<9> The zygomaticotemporal branch runs follow me the inferolateral wall surfaces of the orbit, travels with the zygomaticofacial foramen that the zygomatic bone, and also innervates the orbicularis oculi to reach the skin of the malar area.<9> It likewise joins with the zygomatic branches of the facial nerve and inferior palpebral branches the the maxillary nerve. The zygomaticofacial branch traverses through the lateral wall surface of the orbit and goes v the zygomaticofacial foramen.<10><11>


The zygomatic bone works v the masticatory muscles to regulate the mastication process and aesthetic role of the face.<12> The zygomatic bones function as the beginnings for the masticatory muscles, particularly the masseter muscles, whereby they aid them connect inferiorly.<13> your frontal procedures are associated with the temporalis muscle in the their fibers run parallel from them and also insert onto the mandibular coronoid process.<13>

Physiologic Variants

As pointed out previously, usually, the zygomatic bone is a solitary bone bounded by sutures, yet it can be separated by extra sutures into two or an ext parts.<2> for the most part, over there is one extra suture the runs perpendicularly from the facial section of the maxillozygomatic suture and dorsolaterally come the zygomatic bone, which imparts it a bipartite morphology.<2> The zygomaticofacial foramen, situated at the mid-lateral surface ar of the zygomatic bone that gives off the zygomaticofacial nerve and also zygomaticofacial vessels, has additionally been found to vary from being double or gift absent.<14> according to a research that examined 102 dry hemicrania, the zygomaticoforamen ranged native being absent to have actually as numerous as four small openings, and half of the specimens had one foramen.<14>

The zygomatic bone could likewise vary amongst different ethnic populations. According to Oettle et al., prominence of the zygomatic bone was associated with Eastern eastern populations and populations from east Europe.<15> However, there was diffusion of this trait in populations throughout the Behring Sea and also the Arctic, north America, and South America areas. Part Arctic groups display a prestige of the zygomatic bone to adapt to excessive cold conditions while teams from Australia, Malaysia, and also Oceania show some importance of the zygomatic bone.<15>

Surgical Considerations

Because the zygomatic bone may fracture during facial trauma and may involve various other facial structures, such as the frontal bone, maxilla bone, temporal bone, and orbit, that is vital first to attain a thorough, note ophthalmologic exam.<16> Zygomaticomaxillary complicated fractures deserve to significantly change the structure and aesthetic beauty beauty of the midface, including the globe, and also often involve remote or significant eye injuries. These injuries have significant associations with ocular injuries and visual sequelae than many other types of midfacial injuries. Also, researchers discovered that patient who fractured the zygomatic bone after face trauma were seven times as likely to sustain one eye injury 보다 those that did not experience a bony fracture after face trauma.<16>

For the surgical management of patients through zygomatic bone fractures, number of examinations room necessary. First is the evaluate of gross vision and also the existence of traumatic optic neuropathy.<16> during these tests, the visibility of afferent pupillary defects or red color desaturation calls for evaluation, as they may show up in patients through zygomatic bone fractures and also red color perception is very first to disappear in optic nerve compromise.<16> trial and error of extraocular movement and also visual fields is additionally necessary, together a constraint in extraocular muscle movement can indicate muscle entrapment. A compelled duction test v an anesthetic or computed tomography scans can be carry out to evaluate extraocular muscle entrapment.<16> Finally, sensation in the V2 distribution should experience evaluation, together sensation in this an ar almost constantly decreases in patients with malar fractures.<16>

Clinical Significance

As stated previously, the zygomatic bone forms the importance of the cheeks, a section of the lateral wall, the orbit floor, and also some components of the temporal fossa and infratemporal fossa. The zygomatic bone is vital for enduring the forces of mastication and also transmitting forces from the maxilla.<2> It additionally plays a crucial role in maintaining the aesthetic beauty, beauty and duty of the face and also protecting the eyes. The zygomatic arch likewise gives climb to the masseter muscle, i beg your pardon is the major jaw adductor in mammals.<3> The zygomatic bone additionally connects the facial skeleton come the cranial skeleton by authorized the maxilla to the temporal and also frontal bones, which creates a part of the lateral border the the bony orbit.<3>

The zygomatic bone may likewise fracture throughout facial trauma. Fractures of the zygomatic bone are amongst the many common types of facial fracture and primarily result from assaults and motor auto accidents.<16> these fractures are generally complex, as the zygomatic bone articulates with four other bones, and also these fractures rarely take place in isolation. The masseter muscle are additionally the major muscle providing the most significant deforming pressure on the zygomatic bones.<16> Additionally, due to the fact that the zygomatic bone develops a substantial part of the orbital wall and floor, zygomatic bone fractures regularly involve displacement the the orbit. Therefore, a thoroughly ophthalmologic exam have to be performed for patients through zygomaticomaxillary complex fractures to assess the severity of face trauma.<16>

Although rare, fibrous dysplasia that the zygomatic bone might occur. The disease often manifests together a continuously cultivation mass in so late childhood.

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<17> even though it commonly involves the maxilla and the mandible, some rare situations may include the zygomatic bone. Fibrous dysplasia of the zygomatic may result in plenty of symptoms, such together orbital dysplasia, diplopia, and proptosis.<17>