Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Lacrimal Bone
Skeletal System

Lacrimal Bone

Os lacrimale

Read more

Quick Facts

Location: Viscerocranium.

Bone Type: Irregular bone.

Key Features: Medial and lateral surfaces, descending process, posterior lacrimal crest, lacrimal groove, and lacrimal hamulus.

Articulates With: Ethmoid and frontal bones, inferior nasal concha, and maxilla.

Arterial Supply: Facial and maxillary arteries.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The lacrimal bones are a pair of small, thin bones found along medial walls of each orbital cavity. They are classified as irregular bones and contribute to the formation of the viscerocranium. Each lacrimal bone includes the following bony features:

- surfaces: medial and lateral surfaces, and anterior, posterior, superior, and inferior borders;

- landmarks: posterior lacrimal crest, lacrimal groove and lacrimal hamulus.

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

On its corresponding side, each lacrimal bone is located:

- anterior to the ethmoid bone;

- posterior to a maxilla;

- superior to an inferior nasal concha;

- inferior to the frontal bone.

Each lacrimal bone articulates with the:

- ethmoid bone at a lacrimoethmoidal suture;

- maxilla at a lacrimomaxillary suture;

- inferior nasal concha at a lacrimoconchal suture;

- frontal bone at a frontolacrimal suture.


Ossification of each lacrimal bone occurs at one ossification center, which appears in utero during the third month (Standring, 2016).


In some individuals:

- the shape of the lacrimal bone can vary;

- the lacrimal bone may occasionally present an accessory ossicle (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Fracture of lacrimal bone


Gharb, B. B., Rampazzo, A., Kutz, J. E., Bright, L., Doumit, G. and Harter, T. B. (2014) 'Vascularization of the facial bones by the facial artery: implications for full face allotransplantation', Plast Reconstr Surg, 133(5), pp. 1153-65.

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

Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Lacrimal Bone: What is it, Location, Function, and More

Osmosis image

The lacrimal bone is one of the smallest and most fragile bones of the face

Explore on Osmosisopens in new tab/window

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy