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Nuchal ligament

Other Terms: Ligamentum nuchae, Ligament of neck, Nuchal ligament, Ligament nuchal

Parts

None

Group

Vertebral ligaments

Description

This is the cranial continuation of the interspinous and supraspinous ligaments, albeit, it takes on a much different morphology than its caudal counterparts. It forms a two-layered fibroelastic septum that separates the dorsal muscles of the neck and spans from the spine of the seventh cervical vertebra to the external occipital protuberance. The deep fibers of the ligament attach to the external occipital crest, the posterior tubercle of the atlas, and to the medial surface of the bifid processes of the other cervical vertebrae.

Function

Limits flexion of the head and neck and provides attachment surface for the dorsal muscles of the neck.

French

Ligament nuchal

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