foramen lacerum(redirected from lacerated foramen)
an irregular aperture, filled with basilar cartilage in the living, located between the apex of the petrous part of the temporal bone, the body of the sphenoid, and the basilar part of the occipital bones. Several structures (deep and greater petrosal nerves, vessels of carotid canal) pass along the margins of the foramen in a nearly horizontal direction but no structures pass through vertically.
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An opening in the base of the middle fossa of the skull medial to the foramen ovale and just below the anterior end of the carotid canal at the point where it turns upward to form the carotid groove (carotid sulcus) along the lateral side of the sella turcica. The foramen lacerum has a fibrous covering pierced by a few small vessels.
See also: foramen
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