Facial plast Surg 2014; 30(05): 487-508
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1394303
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The Orbits—Anatomical Features in View of Innovative Surgical Methods

Carl-Peter Cornelius1, Peter Mayer1, Michael Ehrenfeld1, Marc Christian Metzger2
  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
  • 2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany
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Publication History

Publication Date:
14 November 2014 (online)


The aim of this article is to update on anatomical key elements of the orbits in reference to surgical innovations. This is a selective literature review supplemented with the personal experience of the authors, using illustrations and photographs of anatomical dissections. The seven osseous components of the orbit can be conceptualized into a simple geometrical layout of a four-sided pyramid with the anterior aditus as a base and the posterior cone as apex. All neurovascular structures pass through bony openings in the sphenoid bone before diversification in the mid and anterior orbit. A set of landmarks such as the optic and maxillary strut comes into new focus. Within the topographical surfaces of the internal orbit the lazy S-shaped floor and the posteromedial bulge are principal determinants for the ocular globe position. The inferomedial orbital strut represents a discernible sagittal buttress. The periorbita and orbital soft tissue contents—extraocular muscles, septae, neurovasculature—are detailed and put into context with periorbital dissection.