The infra orbital foramen is an opening present bilaterally in the maxillary bone of the skull. It transmits infraorbital vessels and nerve. Earlier studies have shown clear racial variations in the location and features of infra orbital foramen. The aim of this study was to assess the morphological features and the position of infra orbital foramen with respect to the surrounding anatomical bony landmarks. The study was conducted in the department of Anatomy, Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore. 82 adult dry human skulls were studied which included 47 male skulls and 35 female skulls. The features assessed were transverse and vertical diameter of infraorbital foramen, distance from infraorbital foramen to maxillary midline, distance to infraorbital rim, zygomatico-maxillary suture, supra orbital foramen and distance to pyriform aperture. The mean and standard deviation was calculated from the observed values. The significance of the parameters were studied both gender wise and side wise using t-test. The study showed higher values in males compared to females. The position of infra orbital foramen was also assessed with respect to maxillary teeth and the margins of supra orbital foramen. 44.51% of the infra orbital foramen were located in line with 2nd upper premolar and 56.1% of the infra orbital foramen were seen lateral to the lateral margin of supra orbital foramen. One skull showed bilateral accessory infra orbital foraminae. The results and variations of this study would be useful to the surgeons, specially the maxillo-facial surgeons during any surgery involving the infra orbital area. It would be of great use to anaesthetists as well while giving regional block anaesthesia.
Infra orbital foramen, supra orbital foramen, zygomatico-maxillary suture, regional block anaesthesia