The Forgotten Intermediate Condylar Canal: Anatomic Study with Application to Skull Base Surgery Article

Full Text via DOI: 10.1016/j.wneu.2022.01.028 Web of Science: 000833001800008

Cited authors

  • Smith WL, Pekala PA, Iwanaga J, Loukas M, Dumont AS, Walocha J, Tubbs RS


  • BACKGROUND: The intermediate condylar canal, which lies lateral to the occipital condyles and medial to the jugular foramen, is rarely mentioned in textbooks, even those devoted to the skull base. Therefore the present anatomic study was performed to better elucidate these structures.METHODS: We studied 100 adult skulls (200 sides) to better understand the prevalence and anatomy of the intermediate condylar canal.RESULTS: An intermediate canal was found on 6 of 200 sides (3%). On average, these canals traveled 7.1 mm lateral to the occipital condyle and had a mean of 2.2 mm posteromedial to the jugular foramen. Anteriorly, these canals opened into the external surface of the hypoglossal canal and, when present, were just medial to a paracondylar process for which there was a strong positive correlation. The length of the canals ranged from 5 to 7.8 mm. In all, there were 3 partial canals and 3 complete canals. One left canal communicated anteriorly at the confluence of the inferior opening of a septated (bifurcated) hypoglossal canal and an unnamed foramen medial to the jugular foramen. These canals were distinct from posterior condylar canals when the latter was present.CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge of the anatomic variants at the base of the skull may help minimize complications during surgical procedures that employ a paracondylar or transcondylar approach or approaches to the jugular foramen.

Publication date

  • 2022

Published in

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1878-8750

Number of pages

  • 5

Start page

  • E75

End page

  • E79


  • 161