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Inferior nasal concha bone

Other Terms: Inferior nasal turbinate, Inferior turbinate, Concha nasalis inferior, Concha nasi inferior, Cornet nasal inférieur




This is a small, delicate bone that projects from the lateral wall of the nasal cavity. The projection is scroll-like, arching inferiorly and laterally from the lateral wall. It helps subdivide the nasal cavity into the inferior meatus below and superior meatus above. The medial surface of the bone is convex and furrowed by many longitudinal grooves that transport vessels under the thick nasal mucosa covering its surface. The lateral surface of the bone is concave and forms most of the superior and medial boundary of the inferior nasal meatus. The inferior border of the bone has a rough, spongy appearance. This surface has a thick mucosal covering in life. Superiorly the bone forms an articular border with four bones. Three irregular processes project from this border to articulate with neighboring bones.


This term comes from the Latin nasus that arises from the Sanskrit term nasa, both meaning nose. The term concha derives from the Greek konche meaning shell. It has been applied to any shell shaped structure. Eighteenth Century anatomists applied concha to the swirling, shell-like bone of the nasal region.


The inferior nasal concha articulates with four bones: the maxillary, ethmoid, palatine, and lacrimal. It articulates with the maxilla at two points. The anterior part of the superior margin forms a thin articular border with the maxilla and the laterally curved maxillary process articulates with the maxilla more posteriorly. A thin, plate-like ethmoidal process projects superiorly to articulate with the uncinate process of the ethmoid bone. The small, delicate lacrimal process ascends to join the descending process of the lacrimal bone. Posteriorly, the thin superior surface of the bone articulates with palatine bone.


The inferior nasal concha ossifies from a single center that arises endochondrally. The center appears during the fifth fetal month in the lateral cartilaginous wall of the nasal capsule. As it begins to ossify it separates from the capsule forming the conchal bone.


Concha nasi inferior


Concha nasalis inferior


Cornet nasal inférieur


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