Cranial fossae: Anterior, middle and posterior
- a. Cerebellar
- b. Infratentorial
- c. Posterior fossa
- d. Suboccipital
Answer: All of the above.
All these terms refer to the same space. The cerebellum resides in the posterior cranial fossa, in a location that is infratentorial or suboccipital.
Please note the “occipital” and “suboccipital” are NOT synonymous. (“Occipital” refers to the occipital lobe which is a part of the cerebrum and is supratentorial.)
The term “fossa” refers to a “scooped out” space, like the palm of your cupped hand. There are three fossa of the skull base: anterior, middle and posterior.
The anterior fossa (green) is where the frontal lobe is located.
The middle fossa (purple) is where the temporal lobe is located.
The posterior fossa (orange) is where the cerebellum is located.
The mass presented above is a tumor of the posterior fossa, that is, in an infratentorial location. It abuts the cerebellum. Surgical resection may be achieved through a suboccipital craniectomy.