The mastoid process is a smooth conical projection of bone located at the base of the mastoid location of the tempdental bone. It allows the attachment of muscles such as the occipitofrontalis muscle, and also particular muscles of the neck prefer the sternocleidmastoid and splenius capitis muscles.

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Mastoid process

Mastoid Process Location

The mastoid process is located on the underside of the mastoid portion of the tempdental bone, behind the exterior auditory meatus. It deserve to be found in front of and also behind the ear canal and lateral to the styloid process.

The exceptional border of the mastoid location joins via the parietal bone and also has actually the petrosquamous suture travelling vertically from it. The posterior border merges via the occipital bone, and also the anterior border articulates with the descfinishing part of the squamous area of the temporal bone.

Mastoid Process Anatomy

The mastoid procedure is a smooth, conical forecast of bone which has actually several frameworks that enable it to lug out its certain attributes. These include:

Digastric fossa/mastoid notch – a groove located on the medial side of the mastoid procedure Occipital groove – a furrow situated medial to the digastric fossa Mastoid air cells/Lenoirs – hollow areas existing in the remarkable, inferior, and also anterior areas of the mastoid process. They are larger and even more irconsistent in the exceptional and anterior parts, and also diminish in dimension towards the inferior location

Sternocleidomastoid muscle

Mastoid Process Function

The mastoid process’ major function is to carry out a space of attachment to numerous vital muscles in the head. For circumstances, it is the attachment website of certain muscles of the neck:

Sternocleidomastoid muscle – allows the rotation of the head to the contralateral side Splenius capitis muscle – responsible for expansion, rotation and also lateral flexion of the head Longissimus capitis muscle – responsible for the lateral rotatory flexion of the head

The unstable outer surconfront of the mastoid procedure also allows the occipitofrontalis muscle to anchor, which wraps the skull from the premium nuchal line to the mastoid procedure.

In enhancement to this, the digastric fossa allows for the attachment of the digastric muscle, while the medial occipital groove harbours the attachment of the occipital artery.

Digastric muscle

The mastoid air cells current in the mastoid procedure additionally serve their own attribute, which is thought to be defense of the tempdental bone and the middle and also inner ear from trauma, and the regulation of air press. They communicate through the middle ear through the mastoid antrum and also the aditus ad antrum.

Mastoid Process Disease

Eextremely component of the body can be afflicted by one illness or one more, and also the mastoid process is no various in this regard. Instances of problems affecting the mastoid procedure include:


Infection of the middle ear (AKA otitis media) is a fairly common ailment, especially in youngsters, and is often conveniently curable. However before, if left untreated, it have the right to spreview to the mastoid area with the aditus ad antrum and mastoid antrum, causing a condition referred to as mastoiditis.

Mastoiditis is an infection of the mucus lining of the mastoid antrum and also the mastoid air cells situated in the mastoid process. Symptoms of mastoiditis include:

Swelling or pain/discomfort of mastoid process area (behind the ear) Ear discharge Fever before Headache Hearing loss


Tright here are several species of bacteria that deserve to cause mastoiditis, the the majority of widespread culprits being:

Streptococcus pneumoniae (responsible for pneumonia) Streptococcus pyogenes (responsible for scarlet fever) Haemophilus influenzae (responsible for the flu) Moraxella catarrhalis

Streptococcus pneumoniae

If left untreated, mastoiditis deserve to cause a collection of complications such as:

Destruction of the mastoid process Meningitis Partial or finish hearing loss

Though it can be tough to treat as a result of the fact that it is often situated quite deep in the bone, mastoiditis is treated with antibiotics which are either injected or taken orally (or sometimes both). If this does not job-related, surgical procedure might be undertaken to remove component of the mastoid process and drain it in a procedure dubbed mastoidectomy.

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Cholesteatoma is an abnormal expansion of skin cells that develops in the middle ear and/or mastoid process. Cholesteatoma might outcome from a birth defect, though even more often than not it is led to by a background of repetitive middle ear infections. This expansion, though not cancerous, have the right to still reason a number of issues, and is often characterised by symptoms such as:

Watery discharge from the ear Gradual loss of hearing in impacted ear Uncomfortable sense of pressure in ear

Ear influenced by cholesteatoma

These symptoms tend to display gradually as the cholesteatoma cyst slowly grows over time, and will worsen if left untreated. This can result in a variety of unpleasant complications, including:

Ear infection Hearing loss Tinnitus Brain abscess Meningitis

Therefore, it is important to capture and also treat cholesteatoma as quickly as possible. The only method this is possible is with surgery, wbelow the cholesteatoma is permanently removed while the patient is under basic anaesthetic. Antibiotics may also been prescribed in order to combat any type of infections that may have actually arisen in the cyst or ear, making it less complicated to observe the growth traits of the cyst to arrangement for surgical removal of the cholesteatoma.