From Embryology

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Fig. 916 Middle Ear - Malleus

Left malleus. A. From behind. B. From within.

  • named from its fancied resemblance to a hammer
  • consists of a head, neck, and three processes
    • the manubrium, the anterior and lateral processes

Hearing - Middle Ear Development

Head (capitulum mallei)

  • large upper extremity of the bone
  • oval in shape
  • articulates posteriorly with the incus
  • being free in the rest of its extent
  • facet for articulation with the incus is constricted near the middle
    • consists of an upper larger and lower smaller part
    • form nearly a right angle with each other.
  • opposite the constriction
    • lower margin of the facet projects in the form of a process (cog-tooth or spur of the malleus)

Neck (collum mallei)

  • narrow contracted part
  • just beneath the head
  • below it is a prominence
    • which the various processes are attached

Handle (manubrium mallei)

  • connected by its lateral margin with the tympanic membrane
  • directed downward, medialward, and backward
  • decreases in size toward its free end, which is curved slightly forward, and flattened transversely
  • medial side, near its upper end, is a slight projection, into which the tendon of the tensor tympani is inserted

Anterior Process (processus anterior [Folii]; processus gracilis)

  • delicate spicule from the eminence below the neck
  • directed forward to the petrotympanic fissure
  • to which it is connected by ligamentous fibers

In the fetus this is the longest process of the malleus, and is in direct continuity with Meckel's cartilage.

Lateral Process (processus lateralis; processus brevis)

  • a slight conical projection from the root of the manubrium
  • directed laterally, and is attached to the upper part of the tympanic membrane
  • by means of the anterior and posterior malleolar folds, to the extremities of the notch of Rivinus.

(text modified from Gray's Anatomy)

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Gray H. Anatomy of the human body. (1918) Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 18) Embryology Gray0916.jpg. Retrieved from

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Human malleus development timing:[1]

  • 16 weeks - two cortical fascicles situated in the neck
  • 21 weeks - fascicles extend towards the head
  • 23 weeks - extend towards to the lateral process
  • 24 weeks - extend towards to the handle
  • 29 weeks - in the handle force lines are transmitted via three cardinal fascicles (two of them via the cortical fascicle and one via the centre)
  • 31 weeks - consolidated by this time
  1. <pubmed>18581276</pubmed>

File history

Yi efo/eka'e gwa ebo wo le nyangagi wuncin ye kamina wunga tinya nan

current02:33, 20 May 2011Thumbnail for version as of 02:33, 20 May 2011600 × 367 (28 KB)S8600021 (talk | contribs)==Middle Ear - Malleus== Left malleus. A. From behind. B. From within. {{Gray Anatomy}} Category:Hearing