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Minor Alar Cartilages
Connective Tissue

Minor Alar Cartilages

Cartilagines alares minores

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Structure

The minor alar cartilages are paired multiple plates of cartilage forming the posterior and lateral cartilaginous skeleton of the external nose.

There are typically three or four ‘islands’ of minor alar cartilages embedded in alar fibrofatty tissue. They complete the posteroinferior lateral wall of the external nose where they attach to the frontal process of the maxilla bone, thereby attaching the external nose to the facial skeleton.

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Anatomical Relations

The minor alar cartilages are found in the fibrous membrane between the lateral border of the major alar cartilage and the frontal process of the maxilla.

Function

The minor alar cartilages are the fibrofatty alar tissue contributes to the posterolateral rim of the nares, giving them flexibility.

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Nasal Cartilages

ScienceDirect image

Shrinking of the nasal cartilage and its replacement with fibrous tissue changes the normally smooth transition between bone and cartilage in the nose into an abrupt transition termed 'saddle nose', a condition experienced by ∼30% of patients.

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