Metopic ridge

A metopic ridge is a ridge of bone or elevated connection between bones (ridged suture) visible on the forehead extending from the front of the fontanel forward onto the forehead (between the two halves of the frontal bone).


A metopic ridge is similar to other ridged sutures. It is caused when the two halves of the frontal bones of the skull fuse together prematurely.

The metopic suture normally begins to close in the second year of life, and is usually completely closed during the third year - although it does persist unclosed throughout life in 10% of the population.

There is no treatment or surgery required for a metopic ridge.

Common Causes

Congenital craniosynostosis, particularly trigonocephaly, is a common cause for metopic ridge.

Call your health care provider if

  • you notice a ridge along the forehead of your infant or a ridge forming over any of the normal sutures of the skull.

What to expect at your health care provider’s office

The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.

Medical history questions documenting metopic ridge in detail may include:

  • When did you first notice this?  
  • Are there any other ridged sutures?  
  • Does the child have any other symptoms?

Diagnostic tests may include:

After seeing your health care provider, you may want to add a diagnosis related to a metopic ridge to your personal medical record.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.