Tag: Galen

2. Zygoma

skull2
Zygoma is the name for the arch of bone that protects the temple of the human skull.

For fifteen years I doggedly pursued how the word zygoma began and evolved. It’s first use was as an anatomic term in the second century A.D. by Claudius Galen the famous Greek physician , father of anatomical terminology. Through the years it has been used to identify three different anatomical entities instead of just one as Galen intended, consequently it has lead to mistakes and errors in accurate communication of facial injuries between diagnosing physicians and treating surgeons. It was one such experience I had  as a resident surgeon at the University of Alabama in 1972 which prompted my interest in zygoma terminology and resulted in some original etymology and language discoveries.