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What Is the Temporal Bone?

The temporal bone is a part of the bones that make up the skull. Placing the fingers behind the either ear will allow a person to feel their temporal bone, since it is located directly behind the ear. People with hearing problems might trace the source of their problem to an abnormal temporal bone structure. This is because the temporal bone is responsible for containing some of the structures necessary for some of the ear’s auditory and other functions.

The human skull is made up of more then a dozen different bones. Initially these bones will be separated from each other but as the human being develops and approaches the maximum size that their head will grow then the bones will gradually move together to become solid. To fuse into a solid mass the bones of the skull will move together and will form sutures, these will be filled-in over time. This fusing can be used as an indicator for the age of a person.

The temporal bone has 4 main portions the squama, tympanic, mastoid, and petrous. Each of those sections is unique from each other. The temporal bone provides a path for some of the arteries of the head, contributes to part of the ear’s structure and protects the parotid gland.

Injury to the temporal bone is very possible, usually due to a severe head trauma, even a single blow may lead to death. Because of the delicate position of the temporal bone care must be used when examining or operating on it.

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