Comparative Anatomical Study of Fronto-Orbito-Zygomatic and Fronto-Temporal Approach to the Central Skull Base

J Craniofac Surg. 2021 Jul-Aug;32(5):1923-1927. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000007447.


Despite the advances in microsurgery and neuroanatomy, surgery of the central skull base still represents a challenge. Fronto-temporal approach has represented the mainstay of surgical approaches to this region. With advances in skull base surgery, orbital and zygomatic extensions were added to fronto-temporal approach to improve exposure minimizing brain retraction.The authors compared fronto-temporal and fronto-orbitozygomatic approaches to the central skull base by using the previously described operability score, to three different anatomical targets: the ipsilateral anterior clinoid process, the contralateral anterior clinoid process, and the ipsilateral posterior clinoid process.Based on the measurements taken, fronto-orbitozygomatic approache showed higher values at all 3 targets. The reported values were critically discussed.The operability score has been reported as an effective method to compare surgical approaches. The present study demonstrated the maximal possibility of exposure of the two approaches. Based on the strong variability of this anatomical region, especially because of the different pathologies, the authors suggest considering the operability score as a further tool to better define the best surgical approach to this anatomical region.

MeSH terms

  • Brain
  • Craniotomy
  • Humans
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Orbit* / surgery
  • Sella Turcica
  • Skull Base* / surgery