Fontanel (fontanelle)

The word fontanel comes from the French fontaine for fountain. The medical term fontanel is a "soft spot" of the skull. The "soft spot" is soft precisely because the cartilage there has not yet hardened into bone between the skull bones. There are normally two fontanels, both in the midline of the skull, one (the anterior fontanel) well in front of the other (the posterior fontanel). The posterior fontanel closes first, at latest by the age of 8 weeks in a full-term baby. The anterior fontanel closes at 18 months of age on the average but it can close normally as early as 9 months. If fontanels close too early or too late, that may be a sign of a problem.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fontanelle — Sf Lücke im Schädel von Neugeborenen per. Wortschatz fach. (17. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus neo kl. fontanella, entsprechend zu it. fontanella. nfrz. fontenelle. Die romanischen Wörter bedeuten kleine Quelle (Fontäne) und bezeichnen… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • fontanelle — (n.) also fontanel, 1540s, hollow between two muscles, from Fr. fontanelle (16c.), from O.Fr. fontenele small source, fountain, spring; fontanelle, dim. of fontaine spring (see FOUNTAIN (Cf. fountain)), on analogy of the dent in the earth where a …   Etymology dictionary

  • Fontanel — Fon ta*nel , n. [F. fontanelle, prop., a little fountain, fr. fontaine fountain. See {Fountain}.] 1. (Med.) An issue or artificial ulcer for the discharge of humors from the body.[Obs.] Wiseman. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) One of the membranous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fontanel — Porté en Savoie et dans l Ain, c est un toponyme avec le sens de petite source, petite fontaine. Forme féminine : Fontanelle (71, 23, 63). Formes italiennes : Fontanella, Fontanelli …   Noms de famille

  • fontanel — or fontanelle [fänt΄ n el′] n. [ME fontinel, a hollow, pit (of the body) < OFr fontanele, dim. of fontaine, FOUNTAIN] 1. Obs. an opening in the body for the discharge of secretions 2. any of the soft, boneless areas in the skull of a baby or… …   English World dictionary

  • Fontanelle — Fon ta nelle , n. [F.] (Anat.) Same as {Fontanel}, 2. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fontanelle — fontanel …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • Fontanelle — A fontanelle (or fontanel) is an anatomical feature on an infant s skull. Fontanelles are soft spots on a baby s head which, during birth, enable the bony plates of the skull to flex, allowing the child s head to pass through the birth canal. The …   Wikipedia

  • fontanel — /fon tn el /, n. Anat. one of the spaces, covered by membrane, between the bones of the fetal or young skull. Also, fontanelle. [1375 1425; late ME fontinel < MF fontanele little spring, dim. of fontaine FOUNTAIN] * * * or fontanelle One of six… …   Universalium

  • fontanelle — One of several membranous intervals at the margins of the cranial bones in the infant. See cranial fontanelles. SYN: fonticulus. [Fr. dim. of fontaine, fountain, spring] anterior f. [NA] a diamond shaped membranous interval at the junction of the …   Medical dictionary

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