Occipital vertebrae

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr M Venkatesh et al.

Occipital vertebrae is a very rare anatomical variant and results from incomplete or aberrant fusion of occipital bone ossification centers. There is a broad spectrum of occipital vertebrae variations and the four most common include:

Clinical presentation

Symptoms are rare but may include:

  • neck pain
  • reduce movement at the atlanto-occipital joint

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph and CT help in diagnosis of this condition where bony projection or arch is seen between the occipital bone and atlas.

Anatomy: Spine
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Article information

rID: 25863
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: prebasioccipital arch
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  • Case 2: paracondylar process
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  • Case 3: third condyle
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