The sphenoidal tubercle

We would like to thank to the authors of the Letter to the Editor regarding our article on the pterygopalating fossa anatomy in which they try to bring more accuracy into the world of science applied in oral and maxillofacial surgery. If the anatomical term sphenoidal tubercle is more accurate and denotes better for what we reported as the sphenoidal spine, we agree that the term we used should be replaced with the sphenoidal tubercle and sincerely hope that the readers will be spared of any confusion by reading our article with the supplement of letter: ‘The sphenoidal spine and sphenoidal tubercle’ in which this anatomical structure is clearly shown in their Fig. 1.

However, for the sake of scientific accuracy, readers of the journal must not be mislead by two statements given in this letter that are highly inaccurate, that read:

  • 1.

    ‘Due to the fact that the structure misdiagnosed there as ‘ sphenoidal spine ’ was defined to be highly relevant for the maxillary nerve block we considered opportune to address this letter to the editor in order to correct the terms and so to avoid confusion.’

  • 2.

    ‘As so, if one will attempt to enter the pterygopalatine fossa using the sphenoidal spine as landmark will not reach that fossa and may penetrate some important arteries, as are the middle meningeal artery, within the foramen spinosum , or the internal carotid artery.’

In our article the sphenoidal spine (now should be read sphenoidal tubercle) was described as a potential obstacle for the execution of the maxillary nerve block only when it is enlarged so is the pterygomaxillary fissure when narrow. The landmarks for the proper execution of the maxillary nerve block are clearly described and they are consistent. The terms landmarks and obstacles are not to be confused not even by those involved in an accurate anatomical science.

Competing interests

None declared.

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Feb 8, 2018 | Posted by in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery | Comments Off on The sphenoidal tubercle
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