Occasionally adult fontanel(le)s aren't of natural origin. Someone with a severe head injury (gunshot, equipment accident, etc.) as a small child may require reconstruction of the skull. Obviously as the skull grows, the artificial bits, if any, don't. So you can end up with a gap or lumpy area. These should generally be fully reconstructed at some point, but if the person in question isn't engaging in head-cracking activities, it's not generally urgent unless the gap places the brain in danger of damage from direct contact to that area of the head.

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.

2. Anat.

One of the membranous intervals between the incompleted angles of the parietal and neighboring bones of a fetal or young skull; -- so called because it exhibits a rhythmical pulsation.

⇒ In the human fetus there are six fontanels, of which the anterior, or bregmatic, situated at the junction of the coronal and sagittal sutures, is much the largest, and remains open a considerable time after birth.

 

© Webster 1913.

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