Incus

Dr Tim Luijkx and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

The incus (plural: incudes) is the middle of the three ossicles articulating with the head of the malleus anteromedially, forming the incudomalleolar joint, and the stapes inferomedially, forming the incudostapedial joint.

Named parts include:

  • a body which articulates with the head of the malleus, and to which the superior ligament of the incus is attached (to the roof of the middle ear cavity)
  • a long crus (or process) down to the lentiform process (a.k.a. lentiform nodule) which articulates with the head of the stapes
  • a short crus (or process) to which the posterior ligament of the incus is attached

The long crus is the most frequently eroded part of any of the ossicles.

History and etymology

Incus is derived from the Latin word incus meaning anvil.

Anatomy: Head and neck
Share article

Article information

rID: 1497
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Lentiform nodule
  • Lentiform process
  • Incus bones
  • Incudes

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: incus
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2: anatomy of the middle ear
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 3: annotated CT
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 4: middle ear anatomy illustrations
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 5: middle ear anatomy illustrations
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.