The ciliary ganglion serves as the site of synapse for the parasympathetic nerves innervating the eye. Because of the many nerves that course through it (not all of them synapse!) and its anatomical location, this structure is of importance in learning the basics of ophthalmology. According to the Basic and Clinical Science Course, it is located lateral to the ophthalmic artery, situated between optic nerve and lateral rectus muscle, approximately 1 cm (10 mm) anterior to the annulus of Zinn and 1.5-2 cm (15-20 mm) posterior to the globe (1-5).
I'm going to shift gears a little bit and start reviews on some of the other sections. I originally had planned to go in order of the BCSC sections and follow the OKAP content outline, but I realized that of all the sections to cover, General Medicine is one of the smallest sections in terms of content to know. So while I will likely get back to it sometime in the future, I wanted to make sure the key subjects were discussed prior to the test.
There are many facts in the Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology section of the BCSC that will likely be tested as quick recall. I promise, I will eventually provide numerous resources and tools to help remember these facts; for this article, I will try to cover the most important concepts. I am intentionally leaving out details that may be more challenging to test (meaning I have a hard time coming up with a practice question about it).
The orbital roof separates the orbit from the anterior cranial fossa, which houses the frontal lobes of the brain. There are several structures and features regarding the orbital roof that we need to remember. While this article will try to list most of the important features of the orbital roof, it is by no means comprehensive.
There are 7 bones that comprise the orbit. It is our job as ophthalmologists to be able to readily identify these bones and know pretty much every bump, notch, hole, and contour of these bones and what structures pass through, travel along, and attach to these bones.
When learning about orbital anatomy, the dimensions are one of the many aspects you need to know extremely well. As you've probably seen in many texts, stats about the volume, height, width, and depth are almost always listed.
The lateral orbital tubercle, or Whitnall's tubercle, is found on the zygomatic bone. According to the Basic and Clinical Science Course, it is typically around 11 mm inferior to the frontozygomatic suture (the junction between the frontal bone and zygomatic bone) (1), and sits 4-5 mm posterior to the lateral orbital rim around the midline (2).