Rish Academy

Vomer Bone

What is Vomer Bone?

The vomer is a small bone of the facial skeleton (or viscerocranium). The vomer is one of the unpaired facial bones of the skull. This name is derived from the Latin word for a ploughshare and the shape of the bone. It is located in the midsagittal plane of the skull. Vomer bone forms the posteroinferior part of the nasal septum, with the superior part formed by the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone. This articulates with the sphenoid, the ethmoid, the left and right palatine bones, and the left and right maxillary bones. The name is derived from the Latin word for a ploughshare and the shape of the bone.

Vomer bone has horizontal projecting superior expansions of bone called the ala of the vomer (wings) and a vertical perpendicular plate, which forms the main part of the bone. The vomer has two surfaces. On each surface, it presents a prominent oblique groove for the nasopalatine nerve and vessels called the nasopalatine groove. The isolated bone has four borders: anterior, posterior, superior, and inferior. The thickest border is the superior border which possesses a deep furrow between projecting alae, which fits the rostrum of the body of the sphenoid bone.

Borders of Vomer Bone

The anterior border is the longest and slopes downward and forward. Its upper half is fused with the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid; its lower half is grooved for the inferior margin of the septal cartilage of the nose.

The posterior border is free of bony articulation, having no muscle attachments. It is concave, separates the choanae, and is thick and bifid above, thin below.

The superior border, the thickest, presents a deep furrow, bounded on either side by a horizontal projecting expansion of bone – called the wing of vomer; the furrow receives the rostrum of the sphenoid, while the margins of the alae articulate with the vaginal processes of the medial pterygoid plates of the sphenoid behind, and with the sphenoidal processes of the palatine bones in front.

The inferior border articulates with the crest formed by the maxillæ and palatine bones.

Articulations of Vomer Bone

The human vomer bone articulates with six bones:

  • Two of the cranium, the sphenoid and ethmoid.
  • Four of the face, two maxillae; and two palatine bones.

The inferior border of the vomer articulates with the maxillae and the palatine bones. The superior border articulates with the sphenoid bone. The anterior border articulates with the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone and the nasal septal cartilage. The posterior border, however, is not attached to any bones, making it one of the few bones of the skull which does not fully articulate to other bones. This border separates the posterior nasal apertures or choanae. Vomer bone also articulates with the septal cartilage of the nose.