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External occipital protuberance

Other Terms: Protuberantia occipitalis externa, Protubérance occipitale externe

Description

This is a variably sized projection of the external surface of the occipital squama. It is situated approximately at the mid-point of the squama. It is easily palpated as the projection on the posterior surface of the skull. It provides attachment for the medial fibers of the trapezius muscle. Below this prominence is a weak crest that runs inferiorly to the back edge of the foramen magnum. This crest, called the external occipital crest, provides attachment for the nuchal ligament.

Etymology

External comes from the Latin externus meaning outward. This takes its origin from the Greek ex meaning out of. Occiput is Latin for the back portion of the head. It is derived from the prefix ob- meaning on, against, or opposite, combined with the Latin caput meaning head. Protuberance arises from the Latin tuber meaning a bump and pro denoting in front of something.

Latin

Protuberantia occipitalis externa

French

Protubérance occipitale externe

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