- This article is about joints in the bones of the cranium. There is also an article about sutures as features of a wide range of animals. "Suture" also has other meanings in other contexts:
- Surgery, to describe stitches and other techniques for holding tissues together.
|Side view of the skull.|
|Human skull side suturas right|
|Gray's||subject #70 284|
A suture is a type of fibrous joint which only occurs in the the skull (or "cranium"). They are bound together by Sharpey's fibres. A tiny amount of movement is permitted at sutures, which contributes to the compliance and elasticity of the skull.
These joints are synarthroses.
It is normal for many of the bones of the skull to remain unfused at birth. The term "fontanelle" is used to describe the resulting "soft spots". The relative positions of the bones continue to change during the life of the adult (though less rapidly), which can provide useful information in forensics and archaeology. In old age, cranial sutures may ossify (turn to bone) completely.
List of sutures
Most sutures are named for the bones they articulate, but some have special names of their own.
Primarily visible from the side (norma lateralis)
- Coronal suture - between the frontal and parietal bones
- Lambdoid suture - between the parietal bones and the occipital boneis it the osteror sinus
- Occipitomastoid suture
- Parietomastoid suture
- Sphenofrontal suture
- Sphenoparietal suture
- Sphenosquamosal suture
- Sphenozygomatic suture
- Squamosal suture - between the parietal and the temporal bone
- Zygomaticotemporal suture
- Zygomaticofrontal suture
Primarily visible from front (norma frontalis) or above (norma verticalis)
- Frontal suture / Metopic suture - between the two frontal bones, prior to the fusion of the two into a single bone
- Sagittal suture - along the midline, between parietal bones
Primarily visible from below (norma basalis) or inside
- "Module - Introduction to Joints". Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- MedlinePlus Encyclopedia 002320
- Age at Death Estimation from Cranial Suture Closures