Lateral Wall of the Orbit
The lateral wall of the orbit is the thickest and strongest of the orbital walls. It is composed of the zygomatic bone and the greater wing of the sphenoid bone and is separated from the lesser wing (portion of the orbital roof) by the superior orbital fissure. It is located adjacent to the middle cranial fossa and the temporal fossa and commonly extends anteriorly to the equator of the globe, helping to protect the posterior half of the eye while still allowing wide peripheral vision. Important landmarks include the following:
the lateral orbital tubercle of Whitnall, with multiple attachments, including the lateral canthal tendon, the lateral horn of the levator aponeurosis, the check ligament of the lateral rectus, and the Lockwood ligament (the suspensory ligament of the globe)
the Whitnall ligament, which inserts onto the lateral orbital wall several millimeters (mm) above the lateral orbital tubercle via attachments to the lacrimal gland fascia
the frontozygomatic suture, located 1 cm above the tubercle
Figure 1-1 Orbital bones. A, Frontal view. B, Apex.
(Reproduced with permission from Dutton JJ. Atlas of Clinical and Surgical Orbital Anatomy. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1994:8.)
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.