• We report two cases of herniation of the singular nerve into the round window niche and one case of bony dehiscence without herniation between the round window niche and the posterior canal ampulla.
It is believed that the middle ear and the inner ear are completely separate. However, in the temporal bone of a 10- to 15week-old human fetus, a communication between the round window niche and the posterior canal ampulla is observed. Later, the mesenchymal tissue in the communication is replaced by cartilage from near the posterior canal ampulla.
If the communication does not fill with cartilage, ossification is not able to begin behind the posterior canal crista. When there is bony dehiscence behind the crista, the singular nerve fibers are easily pressed out by ossified endosteal bone and herniated into the round window niche.
(Arch Otolaryngol 102:478-481, 1976)