Cruciate ligament of the atlas

The cruciate ligament of the atlas (also known as the cruciform ligament) is an important ligament that holds the posterior dens of C2 in articulation at the atlanto-axial joint. It lies behind a large synovial bursa (surrounded by loose fibrous capsule) and consists of two bands:

  • longitudinal band: joins the body of the C2 (axis) to the foramen magnum
  • transverse band: attaches to the inner margin of the C1 (atlas) lateral masses on both sides
Spinal anatomy
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Article information

rID: 36585
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Cruciform ligament
  • Cruciate ligament of atlas

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1
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    Case 1: calcification of the transverse band
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