Anterior atlanto-occipital membrane

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 29 Oct 2020

The anterior atlanto-occipital membrane is a thin membrane that joins the upper border of the anterior arch of the atlas (C1) to the anterior inferior surface of the foramen magnum. It is a continuation of the anterior longitudinal ligament above the C1 level. It is immediately posterior to the prevertebral muscles. It limits extension of the atlanto-occipital joint.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: median atlanto-occipital and atlantoaxial joints (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 2: anterior atlanto-occipital membrane (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 3: ligaments of the cervical spine (annotated image)
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