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Posterior longitudinal ligament

Other Terms: Ligamentum longitudinale posterius, Ligament longitudinal postérieur

Parts

None

Group

Vertebral ligaments

Description

Forming the anterior wall of the vertebral canal, this strong ligament spans from the body of the axis (C2) to the posterior surface of the sacrum. Like its anterior counterpart the anterior longitudinal ligament, its deep fibers are intersegmental while the more superficial fibers can span up to four vertebral levels. In the cervical and thoracic regions it has a uniform width over the bodies and discs, but in the lumbar region the ligament is widest at the levels of the intervertebral discs where it is firmly anchored to the annulus fibrosus, cartilage of the vertebral end plates, and the margins of the vertebrae. Its cranial counterpart is the tectorial membrane.

Function

Limits flexion of the vertebral column and reinforce the intervertebral disc.

Latin

Ligamentum longitudinale posterius

French

Ligament longitudinal postérieur

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