Medically the evaluation by Seunggu Han, M.D. — composed by Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D. — to update on might 24, 2018

What room cranial bones?

Your skull offers structure to your head and face while also protecting your brain. The bones in your skull have the right to be divided into the cranial bones, which type your cranium, and also facial bones, which make up your face.

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There space several varieties of bones within your body, including:

long bonesshort bonesflat bonesirregular bonessesamoid bones

There are two types in your cranium:

Irregular bones. These space bones with facility shapes that don’t fit into any of the various other categories.

There room eight cranial bones, each through a unique shape:

Frontal bone. This is the flat bone that provides up her forehead. It additionally forms the upper portion of her eye sockets.Parietal bones. This a pair of level bones situated on either next of her head, behind the frontal bone.Temporal bones. This is a pair of irregular bones located under each of the parietal bones.Occipital bone. This is a level bone located in the an extremely back of your skull. It has an opened that permits your spinal cord to affix to your brain. Sphenoid bone. This is an rarely often rare bone that sits below the frontal bone. It spans the width of her skull and also forms a huge part the the basic of her skull. Ethmoid bone. This is an irregular bone located in prior of the sphenoid bone. It makes up component of your nasal cavity.

Your cranial skeletal are organized together by distinct joints dubbed sutures, which space made of thick connective tissue. Castle irregularly shaped, enabling them to tightly join all the uniquely shame cranial bones. The sutures don’t fuse till adulthood, which permits your brain to continue growing throughout childhood and also adolescence.

diagram of cranial bones

Explore the interactive 3-D diagram below to learn much more about the cranial bones.

Cranial bone conditions

Several injuries and also health conditions can impact your cranial bones, consisting of fractures and congenital conditions.


A fracture describes any form of rest in a bone. There space several varieties of skull fracture the can impact cranial bones, together as:

Depressed. This refers to a fracture the makes part of your skull show up sunken.Linear. A straight fracture in a cranial bone means there’s a rest in the bone, yet the bone itself hasn’t moved.Basilar. This kind involves a rest in one of the bones near the basic of her skull, such together the sphenoid bone. This is a serious condition requiring instant treatment.Diastatic. A diastatic fracture occurs along among the sutures of your skull, do it more comprehensive than usual. It’s commonly seen in infants.

In countless cases, skull fractures aren’t as painful as they sound, and also they regularly heal top top their very own without surgery. However, more severe fractures may require surgery.


Some babies are born v a problem called craniosynostosis, which involves the premature closing the skull sutures. This leader to an abnormally shaped skull and also can sometimes affect facial features.

There are several species of craniosynostosis, depending on the sutures castle affect:

Bicoronal synostosis. infants with this type may have a flattened and also elevated forehead.Coronal synostosis. This form can reason flattening on one next of the forehead and affect the shape of the eye socket and also nose.Lambdoid synostosis. This can lead come flattening on one side of the ago of the skull. It deserve to also affect the positioning of the ear or reason the skull come tilt sideways.Metopic synostosis. This can reason a triangle-shaped skull or sharp forehead. It can likewise make the eyes appear closer together.Sagittal synostosis. This kind may reason the forehead to bulge out. The area about the temples might likewise appear very narrow, making the head look elongated.

Craniosynostosis requires surgical therapy to avoid later on complications.

Other conditions

Some other problems that can impact the cranial bones include:

Cleidocranial dysplasia. Mutations to a details gene cause unusual advancement of the teeth and bones, consisting of the cranial bones. Typical symptoms incorporate a sloped forehead, extra bone in ~ skull sutures, and also an enlarged skull.Craniometaphyseal dysplasia. This is an inherited condition that reasons thickening of the cranial bones, which can lead come a protruding forehead and also wide-set eyes. Paget’s an illness of bone. brand-new bone organization is rapidly made as result of unusual actions of osteoclasts, which are a form of bone cell. Human being with this problem are much more prone come fractures since the impacted bone is commonly weaker.Fibrous dysplasia. This causes the advance of scarlike tissue rather of bone tissue because of a mutation in bone-producing cells. It tends to only affect a solitary bone at a time, though much more may be connected in part cases.Osteomas. an osteoma is a light overgrowth the bone top top the skull. People with osteomas typically have no symptoms. However, if the expansion puts press on a nerve, it can cause hearing and also vision problems. These usually resolve as soon as the development is removed.

Symptoms of a cranial bone condition

With all the structures in your head and also neck, the sometimes tough to pinpoint as soon as symptoms are coming native an problem with the cranial bones.

Symptoms that imply some type of cranial bone fracture include:

clear fluid or blood draining from your ear or nosea emotion of weakness in her face

Symptoms that a structural issue with the cranial skeletal include:

a dull, aching painnumbness or study abroad in your facehearing or vision problemsunusually shaped head or face features

Your cranial bones room the main defense mechanism for her brain, for this reason it’s vital to keep their health and wellness by:

Wearing a helmet. constantly wear a helmet once riding something on wheels, including bikes, skateboards, and scooters. Change damaged or dented helmets and make sure they right properly.Fastening your seatbelt. constantly wear a seatbelt once traveling in a car.

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Reducing your threat of falling. certain anything, together as loose electrical cords, that could reason someone come trip. If you have actually mobility issues, take into consideration installing handrails and grab bars in areas, such as the shower or stairs.

If you have an infant, be certain to monitor your head because that anything unusual. You can additionally make sure you son doesn’t stay in one place for too long. Some ways to do this include:

alternating the direction your baby’s head encounters when putting them to bedholding your baby once they’re awake rather of placing lock in a crib, swing, or carrier, when possiblechanging the arm you host your baby with once feedingallowing your kid to pat on your stomach under nearby supervision

Medically reviewed by Seunggu Han, M.D. — composed by Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D. — to update on may 24, 2018