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Skeletal System



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Quick Facts

Location: Tympanic cavity of the middle ear.

Bone Type: Irregular bone.

Key Features: Body, long limb, short limb, and lenticular process.

Articulates With: Malleus and stapes.

Arterial Supply: Anterior tympanic and stylomastoid arteries.

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Related parts of the anatomy

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The incus is one of the three auditory ossicles, the other two being the malleus and stapes. It is a small, anvil-like bone that’s found in the tympanic cavity of the middle ear in the temporal bone. It is classified as an irregular bone and includes the following bony features:

- parts: body, long limb, and short limb;

- landmarks: lenticular process and articular facet for malleus.

More information regarding these bony features can be found in the Parts and Landmarks tabs for this bone.

The incus is located:

- anterolateral to the stapes;

- posteromedial to the malleus.

It articulates with the:

- stapes at the incudostapedial joint;

- malleus at the incudomallear joint.


Ossification of the incus occurs at one ossification center, which is found in its long process and appears in utero during the fourth month. The incus is fully developed by the time of birth (Standring, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Dislocation

- Incus ankylosis

- Cholesteatoma


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


ScienceDirect image

Ossicles are tiny bones (malleus, incus, and stapes) in the middle ear that improve sound vibration and transmit that sound to the inner part of the ear.

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