OBJECTIVE: This study had two objectives. The first was to define the ideal position of the MacCarty keyhole, a commonly used craniotomy entry site into which three of the bone cuts in orbitozygomatic craniotomy extend. The second objective was to examine the relationships in the inferior orbital fissure, a site into which two of the bone cuts in orbitozygomatic craniotomy extend.
METHODS: Twenty frontotemporal regions from adult skulls were examined to delineate the relationships between the surface anatomy of the fronto-orbitozygomatic region and the underlying frontal fossa and orbit. Drill holes placed along, above, and below the frontosphenoid suture were made beginning anteriorly at an area referred to as the three-suture junction, located at the junction of the frontozygomatic, sphenozygomatic, and frontosphenoid sutures. The site of the deep end of each hole was recorded to clarify the ideal position of the keyhole. The relationships in the inferior orbital fissure, the site of the lower end of the bone cut that begins in the orbital portion of the keyhole and extends along the lateral orbital wall, were also examined.
CONCLUSION: Placing the MacCarty keyhole on the frontosphenoid suture 5 to 6 mm behind the three-suture junction results in greater preservation of the lateral wall and roof of the orbit than when the hole is placed at a more anterior site, as previously recommended. The anterolateral part of the inferior orbital fissure, which faces the temporal fossa and into which the bone cuts in the orbitozygomatic craniotomy extend, has a lower density of vascular and neural structures than the middle and posteromedial parts, which are related to the infratemporal and pterygopalatine fossa.